Diachronic Perspectives on Address Term Systems
Address term systems and their diachronic developments are discussed in a wide range of European languages in this volume. Most chapters focus on pronominal systems, and in particular on the criteria that govern the choices between a more intimate and a more distant or polite pronoun, as for instance <i>thou</i> and <i>you</i> in Early Modern English, <i>vos</i> and <i>vuestra merced</i> in sixteenth century Spanish or <i>du</i> and <i>Sie</i> in Modern German. Several contributions deal with situations in which more than two terms can be used and several also note co-occurrence patterns of pronominal and nominal forms of address. The volume provides a multivaried picture of the evolutionary lines of address term systems and a representative range of current approaches from pragmatics and sociolinguistics to conversation analysis. It is thus a timely contribution to the rapidly expanding field of historical pragmatics.