Ever wondered about Vy and Ty, or Vous and Tu, or Sie and Du? If you really get linguistic, perhaps you even wonder about the archaic English form Thou. If your curiosity on this issue troubles you at night, read this book review
or even the book itself. Quite a few European languages are covered, including Czech and Finnish. I must say I was surprised to learn that polite usage has been historically very unstable in many European languages over the past thousand years or so. Then again, I am always uncertain when to use Vy and Ty. In theory, one uses Vy for multiple people or to be respectful, but generally when I try to use Vy, I get Ty in response. I think this means that people do not regard me as an elderly person of high organizational rank.
The book itself (which I haven't read) is:
Taavitsainen, Irma and Andreas H Jucker, eds. (2003) Diachronic Perspectives on Address Term Systems
, John Benjamins Publishing
Company, Pragmatics and Beyond New Series 107
is by Margaret Sonmez.
Labels: books, Czech, language