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Mangiat wrote:

<snip>
> >>
> Luca, where did this form come from?  IIRC, Bruno Migliorini's
> book "Storia
> della lingua italiana" claims that the use of LEI was calqued on Spanish
> "usted," but I don't buy it.  It seems awfully like German to me
> (or perhaps
> the German is calqued on the Italian? I dunno).
> >>
>
> I don't know where's it from. My mother teaches Italian and literary
> subjects (history, latin) in a Junior High School, so my house is full of
> grammars, but they don't give such explanations. Anyway I can't believe it
> from Spanish 'usted' for two reasons: AFAIR, usted means something like
> 'you', 2nd plural person, while 'lei' is 'she', 3rd singular female; then
> there is the historical reason: I think 'lei' was common even before the
> Spanish dominations (even if I'm not sure).

Isn't "lei" referring to such locutions as "signoria vostra", where
"signoria" is feminine, so the pronoun used for it is also feminine? I heard
that all such polite locutions were feminine and "she/it" became the pronoun
used.

I also remember from my Italian GCSE that we were referred to as voi. Odd,
the SEG is a group of fascists....

Dan

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Lo deu nu preca ęl'aisún necoui.  God prays at noone's altar.

Dan Jones: www.geocities.com/yl_ruil/
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