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Author Topic: What thinkest thou?  (Read 4065 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« on: December 12, 2008, 10:36:37 AM »

I'm curious as to the opinion of other Orthodox, perhaps in particular WRO but not necessarily so, on the use of "Thou."

In earlier English, it was just the singular for you, and then the familiar singular.  By quirks of English history, it now became the standard pronoun to use speaking to God.

My question: should the Orthodox continue this usage?  In general (Romanian and perhaps Albanian, which I don't know, being the exception) Orthodox liturgical languages tend to be archaic as possible, but in this case perhaps it is a false archaism (the restriction of Thou only to God I think only happened when the RSV translated it "you" to everyone else).  It is also strange when the Pharisees address Christ as "Thou."  Should "Thous" go the way of "hath" and other older usages.

For the WRO I would think this is a bigger issue, as the West, from the time of the Vulgate, has NOT followed in the Eastern obsession with archaism, etc.  The conservative ben of most WRO converts, and what they are leaving I think muddles the issue somewhat.

Bishop Kallistos said that he continued to use it because it was part of his heritage, but he agreed that the Cypriots and other Greeks could and perhaps should translate it "you" as they don't have the same background.  My reaction was "well, then they should get it, or get out of England."  I don't think "diaspora" should bifurcate English usage in the Church.

Is this an issue in England? Australia?
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 11:02:36 AM »

Methinks that thou hast forced open an immense container of worms.
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 11:10:41 AM »

Methinks but nothing on this subject, brother,
Because, as thou sure knowest, nav'ng been born
In that remote, cold Scythia, I pray
And think of God in words that aren't English.

(Exeunt)
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 11:20:54 AM »

Both for myself as a believer, and certainly for an unhitched inquirer, understanding scripture is hard enough without adding to it with artifice. I am for modernizing the translations of scripture and the Liturgy. The problem is that the attempts to do so far have been accomplished by people who had no training in writing as art, as beauty, as something majestic when read. Also, we in the West have been taught to simplify, simplify, simplify when writing. That needs to be guarded against in this new perfect translation I envision.

Specifically, to your point, Thou should go, You should stay.
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 11:22:49 AM »

"unhitched" is supposed to be "unchurched." Spellcheck went wild.
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2008, 11:32:57 AM »

Both for myself as a believer, and certainly for an unhitched inquirer, understanding scripture is hard enough without adding to it with artifice. I am for modernizing the translations of scripture and the Liturgy. The problem is that the attempts to do so far have been accomplished by people who had no training in writing as art, as beauty, as something majestic when read. Also, we in the West have been taught to simplify, simplify, simplify when writing. That needs to be guarded against in this new perfect translation I envision.

Specifically, to your point, Thou should go, You should stay.

Thou shouldst go.  Thou hast demonstrated thy point.
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2008, 11:43:15 AM »

What we need is a way to distinguish between the singular and plural second person pronoun, the way "thou" and "ye" do. Perhaps "you" and "y'all" in the US would work, and "you" and "youse" in Australia. Don't know about the UK though.
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2008, 12:01:26 PM »

What we need is a way to distinguish between the singular and plural second person pronoun, the way "thou" and "ye" do. Perhaps "you" and "y'all" in the US would work, and "you" and "youse" in Australia. Don't know about the UK though.

From where I'm sitting (east-central Mississippi) "y'all" is singular. The corresponding plural is "all y'all."  laugh
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2008, 12:04:59 PM »

What we need is a way to distinguish between the singular and plural second person pronoun, the way "thou" and "ye" do. Perhaps "you" and "y'all" in the US would work, and "you" and "youse" in Australia. Don't know about the UK though.

LOL.  "The Lord be with youse."  I can't imagine it.
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2008, 12:25:13 PM »

What in the world are yinz talking about?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2008, 12:38:11 PM »

Methinks but nothing on this subject, brother,
Because, as thou sure knowest, nav'ng been born
In that remote, cold Scythia, I pray
And think of God in words that aren't English.

(Exeunt)

I love this!
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2008, 01:07:12 PM »

I've looked at translations like the French, German and Spanish, i.e. languages with the informal-formal distinction for the singular-plural difference.  They all use the informal.  Does that strike modern readers of those languages (espeically the Germans, with "du" instead of "Sie") as odd?
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2008, 02:13:36 PM »

What we need is a way to distinguish between the singular and plural second person pronoun, the way "thou" and "ye" do. Perhaps "you" and "y'all" in the US would work, and "you" and "youse" in Australia. Don't know about the UK though.

Not all of us Americans use "ya'll", my friend.

In fact, I would probably say something approaching a majority of Orthodox (of Slavic background, at least) use some form of "yinz".
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2008, 02:15:52 PM »

I've looked at translations like the French, German and Spanish, i.e. languages with the informal-formal distinction for the singular-plural difference.  They all use the informal.  Does that strike modern readers of those languages (espeically the Germans, with "du" instead of "Sie") as odd?

I remember reading some liturgical texts in German when I studied it in college and was initially taken aback by the use of du when talking to God, but after some thought, it makes more sense to me.  We are supposed to have a close, personal relationship with God and the use of the informal, personal second person pronoun is a fantastic way to both teach and remind us.
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2008, 02:25:48 PM »

In fact, I would probably say something approaching a majority of Orthodox (of Slavic background, at least) use some form of "yinz".

You could use both:

The Lord be with yinz.
And also with you.
Lif up y'alls hearts....
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2008, 03:06:10 PM »

In fact, I would probably say something approaching a majority of Orthodox (of Slavic background, at least) use some form of "yinz".

You could use both:

The Lord be with yinz.
And also with you.
Lif up y'alls hearts....



Having lived for some years in Pennsylvania and now being below the Mason-Dixon line as well as having relatives who are Virginians and friends from Arkansas/Texas, the above has created a train-wreck of voices and pronunciations in my mental ear.  *ow* 

 Wink

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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2008, 03:48:14 PM »

I know that I am in the minority, but I favor the use of Elizabethan English simply because I do not believe (personal opinion) that talking to God is the same way that you would talk to your drinking buddy or what have you.  I think elevated language should be retained for our prayers towards God.  when I pray, I habitually use the Elizabethan language (growing up with the KJV I suppose is what did it in).  Another thing to consider is that some idiomatic English features just don't seem to work in a liturgical setting.  For example from the Prokeimenon of Matins for Nativity:

OCA version--The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind.

Antiochian service book:  The Lord hath sworn and shall not repent.

Change his mind just seems wrong to me.  Though I see Schultz's point when he says that the use of informal language connotes a close personal relationship with our God, we must remember that he is also our God, holy great and mighty and speaking to Him with such language should show humility and respect.

Again, only my opinion.  Y'all doeth what thouse wantest, ya hear!
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2008, 04:32:47 PM »

I know that I am in the minority, but I favor the use of Elizabethan English simply because I do not believe (personal opinion) that talking to God is the same way that you would talk to your drinking buddy or what have you.  I think elevated language should be retained for our prayers towards God.  when I pray, I habitually use the Elizabethan language (growing up with the KJV I suppose is what did it in).  Another thing to consider is that some idiomatic English features just don't seem to work in a liturgical setting.  For example from the Prokeimenon of Matins for Nativity:

OCA version--The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind.

Antiochian service book:  The Lord hath sworn and shall not repent.

Change his mind just seems wrong to me.  Though I see Schultz's point when he says that the use of informal language connotes a close personal relationship with our God, we must remember that he is also our God, holy great and mighty and speaking to Him with such language should show humility and respect.

Again, only my opinion.  Y'all doeth what thouse wantest, ya hear!

μεταμεληθήσεται :change one's mind, regret (buyer's regret), repent.  I'm not sure if the choice of words is because of the meaning or by influence of earlier translations, i.e. the Elizabethan.

Which brings us back to the point.  Most Orthodox languages go with the archaic, which in English would be the Elizabethan.  But 1) historically this hasn't been the case with the West when she was Orthodox and 2) the archaism are selective.  Is it legitimate to keep Thou hast but ditch "he hath"?

The odd thing, it seems that only English has this problem with the pronoun addressing God, to the point that using "you" addressing Christ can be seen as a denial of the divinity of the Son.
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2008, 07:21:27 PM »

I know that I am in the minority, but I favor the use of Elizabethan English simply because I do not believe (personal opinion) that talking to God is the same way that you would talk to your drinking buddy or what have you.  I think elevated language should be retained for our prayers towards God.  when I pray, I habitually use the Elizabethan language (growing up with the KJV I suppose is what did it in).  Another thing to consider is that some idiomatic English features just don't seem to work in a liturgical setting.  For example from the Prokeimenon of Matins for Nativity:

OCA version--The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind.

Antiochian service book:  The Lord hath sworn and shall not repent.

Change his mind just seems wrong to me.  Though I see Schultz's point when he says that the use of informal language connotes a close personal relationship with our God, we must remember that he is also our God, holy great and mighty and speaking to Him with such language should show humility and respect.

Again, only my opinion.  Y'all doeth what thouse wantest, ya hear!

Our version (OCA parish) had repent, but I think our translation was Met. Kallistos/Mother Mary.  Yes, we discussed this (since "repent" seemed weird for God), but it was pointed out that "changed his mind" was stupid.
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2008, 12:15:53 AM »

I love the thees and thous!

Don't forget "youns" and "you's"-both common amongst rural folks in certain areas wherein I have lived...
("you's" has never been an expression I've ever wanted to add to my vocabulary though).
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2008, 01:57:20 AM »

When praying in my native Norwegian, which does have both formal and informal forms (though the former is very rarely used), I'm quite comfortable with using du (informal) instead of De (formal). When praying in English however, I find it more helpful to use the language of the KJV. Modern English seems somehow awkward in a Liturgical context.

Why informal works for one language and not for the other, I have no idea.
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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2008, 02:02:34 AM »

What we need is a way to distinguish between the singular and plural second person pronoun, the way "thou" and "ye" do. Perhaps "you" and "y'all" in the US would work, and "you" and "youse" in Australia. Don't know about the UK though.

There is the synonym for y'all that runs a narrow thread from Hendersonville, NC up through pockets of eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, western Virginia, western Pennsylvania and then to near State College, Pa. It abruptly begins at Hendersonville (a few miles from Ashville) and abruptly stops just short of State College. It is best known as part of Pittsburghese -the venerable word YINZ. I believe it is derivative of a form of Scottish dialect for "you ones" -- "you-uns" -- "yinz"
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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2008, 03:01:22 AM »

People who speak proper English say "you guys."
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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2008, 03:42:40 AM »

Thou shalt open up thine Hapgood and thou shalt be versed in resplendent English.
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2008, 08:15:35 AM »

People who speak proper English say "you guys."
Sexist. Wink
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2008, 08:28:28 AM »

People who speak proper English say "you guys."
Sexist. Wink

My female linguistics teacher taught at a private all girls school and was told of by her superior for addressing her students as guys.
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2008, 08:33:45 AM »

When praying in my native Norwegian, which does have both formal and informal forms (though the former is very rarely used), I'm quite comfortable with using du (informal) instead of De (formal). When praying in English however, I find it more helpful to use the language of the KJV. Modern English seems somehow awkward in a Liturgical context.

Why informal works for one language and not for the other, I have no idea.

Yes, the Scandinavian languages have all moved in the opposite direction: everyone's a Thou (du) now.  In Norway, I understand, that whereas the main arguement for Nynorsk was that it was Norways's language from the sagas, now the argument is that it is closer to the dialectal speech of much of the country.  I've been told that still in Norway the dialects are still alive and well, and there hasn't been the leveling in speech on the standard yet, as has happened in English.  As the entire Bible was not translated into Norwegian until less then a century ago, and I am assuming the same with the equivalents to the BCP, there isn't the same distinction dynamic in Norwegian as in English.  The fact that up until that time Danish was used and seen as normal also contributes to this effect. Another might be you are used to the difference between modern Standard of English and Norwegian in speaking, but the KJV is closer to the Norwegian standard as expressed in the Norwegian Bible and services.
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2008, 09:06:53 AM »

Thou shalt open up thine Hapgood and thou shalt be versed in resplendent English.


This makes me think of a difference that speaks against keeping the Elizabethan English by the Orthodox.  In Arabic, the liturgical language (both Muslim and Christian) is the Classical language, but then we use that in our everyday life when speaking standard (although not as anal about the rules then).  In Greek, in fact the Attic standard language was even more archaic than that in the Koine Bible, quotes of which are treated as almost foreign language in liturgical and Patristic texts (there was an attempt to produce an Attic Bible).  The Old Church Slavonic (which, we might recall, started in the West) was everyday speech.  Only later did it become a liturgical language when Russian asserted itself.  Ever since the Romanian Church dumped Slavonic, she hasn't had a liturgical language (i.e. one separate from the literary standard).  Coptic became liturgical only when it died out of everyday use.  In Syriac, Syriac remained the standard of DL and prose, Modern Armenian emerged only by asserting itself as independent of Grabar (Classical Armenian). Amharic is just now emerged from Giiz shadow. Malayam is not officially classical, and I don't know much about it.

Any, in all the cases where the Orthodox have liturgical languages, they are the same as the literary standard.  The existence of a difference is of very recent origin (except in the cases where one language has been replaced by another, e.g. Coptic by Arabic).  In other words, since the most traditional Traditionalist does not speak or even write in Elizabethan English, why does he pray in it?

I think I might actually swith to "You" when I pray in English.
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2008, 09:36:02 AM »

Yes, the Scandinavian languages have all moved in the opposite direction: everyone's a Thou (du) now.  In Norway, I understand, that whereas the main arguement for Nynorsk was that it was Norways's language from the sagas, now the argument is that it is closer to the dialectal speech of much of the country.  

The only languages that could claim to be "Norway's language from the sagas," are Icelandic and Faroese, which, although closer to Nynorsk than they are to Bokmål, are still utterly incomprehensible to any normal Norwegian-speaker.

Quote
I've been told that still in Norway the dialects are still alive and well, and there hasn't been the leveling in speech on the standard yet, as has happened in English.

This is true. Very few people can be said to speak a "standard" anything. Everyone speaks some form of dialect, or a mix of several. Written communication, however, is done almost entirely in bokmål. I'm not that up to date with the news back home, but from what I understand, Nynorsk is no longer compulsory in schools (other than those in Vestlandet, whose dialects it's based on).

Quote
As the entire Bible was not translated into Norwegian until less then a century ago

Even the 1930 translation retains many Danish spellings and forms that I find somewhat difficult.

Quote
Another might be you are used to the difference between modern Standard of English and Norwegian in speaking, but the KJV is closer to the Norwegian standard as expressed in the Norwegian Bible and services.

That might well be why - KJV word order is often the same as in modern Norwegian, whereas modern English word order is often the same as the older Dano-Norwegian.

I suppose that because I use modern English for nearly all my every-day academic, work, or social situations, the notable otherness of older English helps me to "lay aside every care of this life."

That being said, it's my familiarity and comfortableness with Norwegian that makes it the most natural language for me to pray in. I assume the same is true for many of those whose mother-tongue is English.
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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2008, 01:40:31 PM »

People who speak proper English say "you guys."
Sexist. Wink

In Los Angeles it's become gender neutral.  Women use it with other women.  No big deal.
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2008, 06:10:16 PM »

Thou shalt open up thine Hapgood and thou shalt be versed in resplendent English.


This makes me think of a difference that speaks against keeping the Elizabethan English by the Orthodox.  In Arabic, the liturgical language (both Muslim and Christian) is the Classical language, but then we use that in our everyday life when speaking standard (although not as anal about the rules then).  In Greek, in fact the Attic standard language was even more archaic than that in the Koine Bible, quotes of which are treated as almost foreign language in liturgical and Patristic texts (there was an attempt to produce an Attic Bible).  The Old Church Slavonic (which, we might recall, started in the West) was everyday speech.  Only later did it become a liturgical language when Russian asserted itself.  Ever since the Romanian Church dumped Slavonic, she hasn't had a liturgical language (i.e. one separate from the literary standard).  Coptic became liturgical only when it died out of everyday use.  In Syriac, Syriac remained the standard of DL and prose, Modern Armenian emerged only by asserting itself as independent of Grabar (Classical Armenian). Amharic is just now emerged from Giiz shadow. Malayam is not officially classical, and I don't know much about it.

Any, in all the cases where the Orthodox have liturgical languages, they are the same as the literary standard.  The existence of a difference is of very recent origin (except in the cases where one language has been replaced by another, e.g. Coptic by Arabic).  In other words, since the most traditional Traditionalist does not speak or even write in Elizabethan English, why does he pray in it?

I think I might actually swith to "You" when I pray in English.

I think of our English liturgical text translations as an ongoing process. 
The Hapgood service book was the first of its kind that is still in use today.  Ms. Hapgood took the Church Slavonic from the Russian Service book and wrote it in English.  Over time more and more texts from varying sources were translated into English. Think of English texts are a recent phenomenon.  There are scores of them all translated by different people at different times in the last one hundred odd years. 
On one hand since the Hapgood English style has become the unspoken standard we've seen texts translated to mimic it.  On the other hand we have seen texts more recently being translated into more colloquial English. 
But on that subject there are varying opinions.  One is not to go too far and "dumb down" the language of the text.  An example would be instead of "The Kingdom of the Lord" to "The reign of the Lord."
I can provide many examples of this dumbing down of the language.
So the challenge can be seen as keeping beauty in the language while keep the text as colloquial as possible. 
One can only tell you that singing from the kliros with an archaic text is an experience that isn't enjoyable.  I'm all for making the text more in line with modern English but a line has to be made that can't be crossed in doing so.  One only has to point at the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church "Revised" Divine Liturgies to see a text in which that line I speak of has been crossed.

footnote:  I like the Hapgood.  While the English in it isn't colloquial it is flows much better than some of the stichera and apostica I've sang from books printed by some modern Orthodox presses.
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2008, 09:05:56 PM »

People who speak proper English say "you guys."
Sexist. Wink

My female linguistics teacher taught at a private all girls school and was told of by her superior for addressing her students as guys.
Interesting. And silly.

People who speak proper English say "you guys."
Sexist. Wink

In Los Angeles it's become gender neutral.  Women use it with other women.  No big deal.
It's pretty well gender neutral everywhere. I use it myself on occasion. But I heard no end of complaint from my professors (I was an English major) about anything other than "you all."
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« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2008, 01:53:02 PM »

Not all of us Americans use "ya'll", my friend.

In fact, I would probably say something approaching a majority of Orthodox (of Slavic background, at least) use some form of "yinz".

I beg to differ, "yinz" is a Western PA term and shouldn't be repeated elsewhere! lol

My personal preferance is to use "Thou." It sounds prettier. As a Deaconessa at a former parish of mine said, "Let's not use the You-hoo Liturgy."
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« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2008, 02:00:42 PM »

Not all of us Americans use "ya'll", my friend.

In fact, I would probably say something approaching a majority of Orthodox (of Slavic background, at least) use some form of "yinz".

I beg to differ, "yinz" is a Western PA term and shouldn't be repeated elsewhere! lol

My personal preferance is to use "Thou." It sounds prettier. As a Deaconessa at a former parish of mine said, "Let's not use the You-hoo Liturgy."

Welcome to OC.net! Love the post.
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« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2008, 02:02:41 PM »

Not all of us Americans use "ya'll", my friend.

In fact, I would probably say something approaching a majority of Orthodox (of Slavic background, at least) use some form of "yinz".

I beg to differ, "yinz" is a Western PA term and shouldn't be repeated elsewhere! lol

And where is the largest population of Slavic Orthodox in the Americas, or at least the Eastern half of the United States? Wink

"Yinz" is also found throughout the Appalachians, notably in the certain pockets of the Carolinas.
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« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2008, 02:17:25 PM »

Yinz is a second-person plural pronoun used mainly in southwest Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, but it is also found throughout the Appalachians. (See: Pittsburgh English.)

Yinz is the most recent derivation from the original Scots-Irish form you ones, which is probably the result of contact between Irish and English. When standard-English speakers talk in the first person or third person, they use different pronouns to distinguish between singular and plural. In the first person, for example, speakers use the singular I and the plural we. But when speaking in the second person, you performs double duty as both the singular form and the plural form. Crozier (1984) suggests that during the 19th century, when many Irish speakers switched to speaking English, they filled this gap with you ones, primarily because Irish has a singular second-person pronoun, tu, as well as a plural form, sibh. The following therefore is the most likely path from you ones to yinz: you ones [yu wʌnz] > you'uns [yuʌnz] > youns [yunz] > yunz [yʌnz] > yinz [yɪnz]. Because there are still speakers who use each form, there is no stable second-person plural pronoun form in southwest or central Pennsylvania—which is why this pronoun is variably referred to or spelled as you'uns, yunz, yinz, yins or ynz.

In other parts of the U.S., Irish or Scots-Irish speakers encountered the same gap in the second-person plural. For this reason, these speakers are also responsible for coining the yous found mainly in New Jersey and the ubiquitous y'all of the South.

Yinz's place as one of Pittsburgh's most famous regionalisms makes it both a badge of pride and a way to show self-deprecation. For example, a group of Pittsburgh area political cheerleaders call themselves "Yinz Cheer," and an area literary magazine is The New Yinzer, a take-off of The New Yorker. Those perceived to be stereotypical blue collar Pittsburghers are often referred to as Yinzers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinz
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« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2008, 02:36:40 PM »

I'll be danged...

Yinz.  I can't imagine.  No disrespect, of course; just caught me by surprise is all.
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« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2008, 02:44:47 PM »

Not all of us Americans use "ya'll", my friend.

In fact, I would probably say something approaching a majority of Orthodox (of Slavic background, at least) use some form of "yinz".

I beg to differ, "yinz" is a Western PA term and shouldn't be repeated elsewhere! lol

My personal preferance is to use "Thou." It sounds prettier. As a Deaconessa at a former parish of mine said, "Let's not use the You-hoo Liturgy."

I am partial to the Thou, but can't justify it any longer as it is not used in educated English.
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« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2008, 10:07:44 PM »

One small clarification. Church Slavonic is not a predecessor to Modern Russian; but an entirely different language. Church Slavonic is a soutwestern Slavic language, akin to Macedo-Bulgarian. The Slavonic verb forms are much more complex than those of the eastern Slavic languages. In fact, there are "Church Slavonicisms " in modern Russian where a Slavonic form is used instead of the expected Russain form. It is somewhat analogous to the use of Latin terms in English. My family members, who were natives of the Russian empire; but did not have special education in Slavonic or religious education, can't make sense of even common Slavonic words. Ask a Russian, who isn't a frequent church go-er what the "Izhe" in "Izhe Xeruvimy" means, and they'll just shrug their shoulders.

FF
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« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2008, 10:21:16 PM »

Yinz is a second-person plural pronoun used mainly in southwest Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, but it is also found throughout the Appalachians. (See: Pittsburgh English.)

Yinz is the most recent derivation from the original Scots-Irish form you ones, which is probably the result of contact between Irish and English. When standard-English speakers talk in the first person or third person, they use different pronouns to distinguish between singular and plural. In the first person, for example, speakers use the singular I and the plural we. But when speaking in the second person, you performs double duty as both the singular form and the plural form. Crozier (1984) suggests that during the 19th century, when many Irish speakers switched to speaking English, they filled this gap with you ones, primarily because Irish has a singular second-person pronoun, tu, as well as a plural form, sibh. The following therefore is the most likely path from you ones to yinz: you ones [yu wʌnz] > you'uns [yuʌnz] > youns [yunz] > yunz [yʌnz] > yinz [yɪnz]. Because there are still speakers who use each form, there is no stable second-person plural pronoun form in southwest or central Pennsylvania—which is why this pronoun is variably referred to or spelled as you'uns, yunz, yinz, yins or ynz.

In other parts of the U.S., Irish or Scots-Irish speakers encountered the same gap in the second-person plural. For this reason, these speakers are also responsible for coining the yous found mainly in New Jersey and the ubiquitous y'all of the South.

Yinz's place as one of Pittsburgh's most famous regionalisms makes it both a badge of pride and a way to show self-deprecation. For example, a group of Pittsburgh area political cheerleaders call themselves "Yinz Cheer," and an area literary magazine is The New Yinzer, a take-off of The New Yorker. Those perceived to be stereotypical blue collar Pittsburghers are often referred to as Yinzers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinz
Along with Y'all, 'You'uns' (pronounced 'yunz') is also common in rural Southern MO/Northern AR (both areas are predominantly Scots-Irish [Ulster Scots as we're known in Ireland/Great Britain]).  I'd always thought 'yunz' was used only among Hillbilly's (another aspect of the Ulster Scot heritage) until I read otherwise here.  A lot of interesting info here.  A big 'ol hillbilly thanks to all y'all! Cheesy
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« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2008, 10:54:21 PM »

One small clarification. Church Slavonic is not a predecessor to Modern Russian; but an entirely different language. Church Slavonic is a soutwestern Slavic language, akin to Macedo-Bulgarian. The Slavonic verb forms are much more complex than those of the eastern Slavic languages. In fact, there are "Church Slavonicisms " in modern Russian where a Slavonic form is used instead of the expected Russain form. It is somewhat analogous to the use of Latin terms in English. My family members, who were natives of the Russian empire; but did not have special education in Slavonic or religious education, can't make sense of even common Slavonic words. Ask a Russian, who isn't a frequent church go-er what the "Izhe" in "Izhe Xeruvimy" means, and they'll just shrug their shoulders.

FF

Even more so, the "g" of the endings "-ego" and "-ogo" is pronounced "v": the spelling is Slavonic, the pronunciation East Slavic.

The realtionship between Russian and Church Slavonic is tricky: they are different, but related, languages.  Old Church Slavonic is a South Slavonic language, but it survives in the Russian recension, i.e. how Russian use it.  A parallel is Norwegian (Bokmal), which is actually Danish as how the Norwegians in the cities used it.
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