Datapoint Batak (Toba) / Politeness Distinctions in Pronouns

Language:Batak (Toba)
Feature:Politeness Distinctions in Pronouns by Johannes Helmbrecht
Value:Binary politeness distinction



2nd sg.

It is used instead of ho as a singular to personswho,

in relation to the speaker, belong to a different marga*

or must be regarded as so belonging. For example,

adult brothers and sisters use it to each other, because

a wife takes the marga of her husbandand and is,

therefore considered to belong to a different marga to

that of her brother. A father and her adult daughter use

it for the same reason.


2nd sg. hon.

It is used when the speaker wishes expressively to be

polite or when the kinship relationship is not known

and there is doubt whether ho or hamú shouldbe



2nd sg. fam.

It's used to persons to whom it is not necessary to usehamú (2nd pl).

* The Batak are organized in 'margas', large family groups. Themembers of one marga can only marry a person of another marga. Uponher marriage the wife passes over into the husband's marga.(source: 25.06.2002)