Hello all, All excellent responses so far, although not yet what I was searching for. Maybe let me elaborate on my question. What I'd like to do is start from a language like English, move it a couple of centuries into the future and end up with something like Japanese. So what I need to know is: what English word should grammaticalize to give such things like -masu, o-, go-, and how do you get four words for even the most simple things (like iu/ossharu/mōsu/mōshiageru all meaning "say" in different levels of politeness) where English nowadays only has one? I have some ideas of how to get different words for the same concept. One could start by borrowing (which is something already found in English) and having the borrowed words carry some emotional load. Or one could invent euphemisms and dysphemisms. If there are other ways, please tell! But how to get verb endings for politeness is completely beyond me. I know Korean has a very elaborate system for this, and if anybody could tell what the etymological origin is of all these endings, I'd be very interested. The way of Indo-European languages in that district seems to never give *more* verb forms, as the polite levels are at best just some other person/number than semantically intended. Greets David -- Raash te feegatpin: nuukazet nhamaru'eng, shayip büngnetuk seepiit.