Dating laman

Additionally British commoners have historically spoken to nobility and royalty using the third person rather than the second person, a practice that has fallen out of favor.

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Speakers developed greater flexibility of pronoun use by redefining relationships between individuals.

Instead of defining the father-son relationship as one of power, it could be seen as a shared family relationship.

It has become less acceptable for a more powerful individual to exercise the choice of pronoun.

Officers in most armies are not permitted to address a soldier as T.

Thus, it was quite normal for a powerful person to use a T-form but expect a V-form in return.

However, in the twentieth century the dynamic shifted in favour of solidarity, so that people would use T-forms with those they knew, and V-forms in service encounters, with reciprocal usage being the norm in both cases.

Brown and Gilman term this the semantics of solidarity.

Thus a speaker might have a choice of pronoun, depending on how they perceived the relationship with the person addressed.

The morphosyntactic T–V distinction, though, is found in a variety of languages around the world.

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