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Isteism - Against the Vile Maxim

About Isteism

Previous Entry Isteism May. 18th, 2009 @ 05:22 pm Next Entry
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From:muckefuck
Date:May 19th, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
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It's hard to say, since the distinction is subtle enough to escape the notice of a non-native speaker. Perhaps "diese Frau da" is more disrespectful in German than "diese Frau hier", but not so as I've ever noticed.

In Spanish, you can get something of the same effect by postponing the demonstratives, e.g. y la muchacha aquella (olvide su nombre) "and that girl (forget her name)". Apparently this is true in Catalan as well, as Wheeler et al. say in their comprehensive grammar, "The postponing of the demonstrative may connote a degree of intimacy between speaker and hearer, and also a slight pejorative sense (but this may be no more than the effect of informal style)[.]" (p. 110). I'm not sure which, if any, of the other Romance languages share this phenomenon.

Incidentally, that quote reminds me of a somewhat parallel construction in (Irish) English, i.e. "your man". Familiar, with a whiff of contempt in many circumstances.
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From:booksoverbombs
Date:May 19th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
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The postponing of the demonstrative may connote a degree of intimacy between speaker and hearer, and also a slight pejorative sense (but this may be no more than the effect of informal style)
This was exactly the conflation effect I was worried about-- the pejorative term becomes an endearment when there's no ambiguity between speaker and hearer that the pejorative is to be construed ironically. Hmm.
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