The category of honorific in Czech conjugation paradigms Cover Image
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Kategorie honorativu v českých konjugačních paradigmatech
The category of honorific in Czech conjugation paradigms

Author(s): Zygmunt Saloni, Alexandr Rosen
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Ústav pro jazyk český Akademie věd České republiky
Keywords: honorific; formal address; conjugation; conjugation paradigm; hybrid agreement; analytical morphology; agglutination; Czech; Polish

Summary/Abstract: In Czech, as in many other languages, second person plural forms are used as a means of formal address. As in French, and unlike in Russian, a finite verb predicated of the pronoun vy in this usage agrees with its subject in plural, as expected, while participles and predicative adjectives are singular. It is argued that this pattern of hybrid agreement, present both within analytical verb forms and syntactic constructions and different from regular plural and singular, justifies the introduction of the morphological category of honorific in Czech. As a result, an account of analytical verb forms cannot be complete without providing an explicit description of the forms of second person formal address. Existing Czech grammar reference books are not quite satisfactory in this respect; furthermore they implicitly presuppose the application of rules concerning grammatical gender. We offer a solution to the issue of the adequate presentation of analytical verbal morphology paradigms, including formal address, along the lines of a Polish verbal morphology handbook.

  • Issue Year: 67/2006
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 36-45
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Czech