After I sent that post, Diana, I read further in the "thou" article, and also checked out the "you" article in Wikipedia.  My quick read was less than incisive, but my impression is that the etymological developments of the two words are completely independent and follow different linguistic paths.  In the end, the similarities of the endings of thee / ye and of thou / you seem to be coincidental rather than morphologically derived.


From: Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thu, January 28, 2010 10:35:26 AM
Subject: Re: OT: "thou"

Dear Jerry,
Those are the usages I need to study; I'd also be interested in the answers.
Thanks again for the link.

Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 08:17:57 -0800
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: OT: "thou"
To: [log in to unmask]

This article touches on, but doesn't resolve, an obscure, trivial question I've wondered about for long.  Perhaps somebody on this list has the answer.  In old 2pers pronouns, "thou" is nominative singular, "thee" is oblique singular; "ye" is nominative plural, "you" is oblique plural.  I'm puzzled by the vowel shift:  -ou and -e(e) are morphologically transposed in the singular and plural.  Does anybody know how or why this happened?

Jerry Walsh, (morphological) biblical lurker

From: Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thu, January 28, 2010 10:04:42 AM
Subject: Re: Prufrock question

Rickard A. Parker wrote:

Tom, the idea of the plural "you" came up because I had
recently read the Wikipedia article on the word "thou."
A good one.  It quotes the wonderful line "I thou thee,
thou traitor."

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