Questions tagged [formality]

For question about formality in linguistics, e.g., in personal pronouns (T-V-distinction) or verbs.

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1answer
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When and how did the Japanese honorific system evolve?

I know that languages, in general, can denote honorifics, especially with second person pronouns (T/V distinction, etc), and I imagine that the Japanese system of honorifics is probably an extension ...
2
votes
2answers
339 views

Did/Do most languages use a similar pronoun to the plural for formal singular?

I don't think the title is super clear, but I couldn't a better way to word it, let me give a few examples From what I understand, the "original" pronouns were English: Singular Informal: Thou ...
5
votes
3answers
593 views

Plural form as respect form - based on what?

Many languages use the plural as respected mood for a singular (even English use "you" which is basically a plural form of thu). Now my question is: based on what those who started to speak in ...
2
votes
3answers
140 views

pronouns with uppercase and lowercase variants

In Russian, there are two forms of the formal 2nd person singular pronoun: lowercase вы (vy) and uppercase Вы (Vy). If I understand correctly, the latter is used in situations where the speaker and ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Why did English stop using thou?

In Shakespearean English, thou/thee/thy/thine were used for second person singular, and you/your/yours were used for second person plural. In modern English, you is used for both singular and plural. ...