thou, thee

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Jan 12, 2018 at 12:33 AM.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Thou and theewere in general use as second person singular pronouns, along with the verb art. Why, when, and how id their usage die out, being replaced by you (which had been only plural) are.
     
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  3. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I think that thou & thee were used to refer to close friends and relatives, while you was used for folks who were known but not close friends or relatives.

    BTW: The Quakers (Society of Friends) always used thou & thee, refusing to imply that most folks were less worthy of being considered friends.
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The linguists say the movement of a plural into an area of singular but not specified from a multitude is a common pattern.

    It's been happening with "they", moving into "he/she unspecified", for a while now - probably would have completed a while ago had English grammar not been formalized and enforced during the spread of literacy.
     
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