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Spanish discourse- plural?

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.

Spanish discourse- plural?

Postby Huia Iesou » Fri May 12, 2006 7:49 pm

I've been reading The Hobbit in Spanish and come across something completely puzzling. In the first scene, in which Gandalf introduces himself alone to Bilbo, Bilbo consistently uses the vosotros form to him (lleváis, sentaos, tomad, etc). Later he uses the vosotros form to the dwarves as well, even when only speaking to one. Why is he using the plural form to one person?
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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri May 12, 2006 9:41 pm

Are you sure he's using vosotros for one? Maybe what's going on is he's using the vosotros forms with the subject vos, which was the practice in former times to mean something like Your Mercy.

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Postby Huia Iesou » Sat May 13, 2006 9:26 am

That could be, but as far as I know there was no stated subject; it was all implicit in the verbs.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Sat May 13, 2006 10:34 am

Right, you need not (better: you should not) use the subject all the time, as it's implied in the ending.

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Postby Huia Iesou » Sat May 13, 2006 11:24 am

Yes, I'm familiar with that. What I was saying was that I could not be sure if the subject was vosotros or vos.
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Postby Huia Iesou » Sat May 13, 2006 12:46 pm

Ah! I see! Many thanks.
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Postby anders » Sun May 14, 2006 6:32 am

You (pl.) are lucky. In Hindi, there are three levels for 2nd person addressing: tu (extremely familiar, best avoided for foreigners), tum to equals or family, aap for courtesy.

But for example Tibetan is much worse. Nouns! may have up to four levels, depending on whom is addressed: Example 'mother': normal a-ma, honorific yum-ku-sho, high honorific hla-yum ku-sho, and for the mothers of Dalai and Tashi Lamas gye-yum ku-sho. Fathers have to make do with two levels, normal a-pha and hon. yab.

If you are familiar with Buddhist art, you will now have understood the meaning of the label yab-yum to describe the position/action in one sculpture gengre: Father-mother. Try this interesting discussion.
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Postby Spiff » Mon May 15, 2006 3:31 am

Anders, don't tell me you'd call someone 'aap' out of courtesy? :)
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Postby anders » Mon May 15, 2006 4:22 am

Spiff wrote:Anders, don't tell me you'd call someone 'aap' out of courtesy? :)


That's a point I overlooked. Please compare the Tarzan thread.

It really is a with a macron or rather आप but I was too lazy. Even more weird, to have my utility give me the correct Hindi, I had to write Apa (ape/monkey in Swedish).
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