Politeness shift of PAN 2pl pronoun *-mu to singular

Blust (1977) had argued that a politeness shift changing the PAN 2pl pronoun *-mu to 2sg is a PMP innovation. Sagart (2004) proposed that the Buyang 2sg pronoun ma312 is cognate with PAN *-mu 2pl and PMP *-mu 2sg, thus sharing the PMP plural-to-singular shift. Blust (2014:375) states that u::a is not a recurring correspondence between AN and Buyang, urging caution. The correspondence in fact recurs in the other second-person pronoun, PAN *iSu 2sg, Buyang ɕa54. The Buyang form occurs in the plural form tsum54 ɕa54 2pl, (tsum54 plural marker of personal pronouns).  While the habitual fate of PAN *u is to Buyang u, the fact that it evolves to Buyang a in both  2nd-person pronouns shows we are not dealing with a chance resemblance. The politeness shift to singular of the PAN 2pl pronoun is shared by ̴PMP, Buyang and, to my knowedge, the rest of KD. While the evolution of vowels in 2nd-person pronouns is complex, in KD languages where a 2nd-person pronoun has the phonetic shape /mV/, that pronoun is singular unless accompanied by a plural marker.

References

Blust, Robert A. (1977) The Proto-Austronesian pronouns and Austronesian subgrouping: a preliminary report. University of Hawai’i working papers in Linguistics 9, 2: 1-15.

Sagart, L. (2004) The higher phylogeny of Austronesian and the position of Tai-Kadai. Oceanic Linguistics 43,2: 411-444.


OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Laurent Sagart (December 24, 2022). Politeness shift of PAN 2pl pronoun *-mu to singular. Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian. Retrieved July 18, 2024 from https://doi.org/10.58079/ukdp


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search