9.27.2005

Vos and vosotros

Mahndisa asked "about how vosotros from archaic Spanish got morphed into vos in Argentina."

I asked LanguageHat, and he said:

Actually, vos is the older form; vosotros is vos + otros 'you others.'
From The World's Major Languages (ed. Comrie):

In Latin America, the position is more complicated. Vosotros, the familiar plural form, has given way to ustedes, used with third person inflection, as a generalised plural. Vos, which in medieval Spanish had been used as a polite singular (just as Modern French vous), has taken over in many varieties as the generalised singular, colligating with inflections which are historically both singular and plural, sometimes even blends. `Voseo' is not a recent phenomenon; its roots must be sought in the colonial period, and recent archival research has revealed that it was well established in educated Buenos Aires usage by the beginning of the last century.

So, there's the best answer I could get without killing myself through research (or actually spending any time at all).

2 comments:

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

09 30 05

Gee Lingua:
Thx so VERY MUCH for the input! As I stated no one ever gave me a good description of that. My mom hinted about the midieval Spanish connection, but nothing further. Funny how words evolve. You know in English how now, we say you're the contraction for you are. I have noticed more and more people misstyping this and misusing the term your as a substitute for you're. I think it will change within the next few years to be acceptable. I was researching use of the word egregious. And much to my surprise found that it used to mean the opposite of its current usage. How absolutely insane! But such is language. As I speak to some Cockny (bad speller I know) people sometimes it's hard to understand them. Same for Some Australians. In time, I cld see different languages developing from English. Now that being said, I can see how Portugese and Spanish evolved....Your blog is cool!

mj said...

I think the word "nice" used to mean the opposite, too. Thanks for the compliment on my blog. Feel free to tell the world about it. ;)