"Please" and "I ask, I request" in Liber vitae patrum


This paper examines the use of performative verbs meaning "I beg, I ask" and pragmatic markers meaning "please" in the 6th-century Liber vitae patrum by Gregory of Tours. It discusses the frequency of each verb and the possible factors that may have influenced its selection, such as imitation of previous authors, the social status of the communication agents, the requested things, and any difficulty in fulfilling the request. For example, the fact that the highest frequency was found for quaeso (which was perceived as an archaism already in Cicero's time) suggests that Gregory followed the model of learned men from the 4th and 5th centuries CE who "resuscitated" this verb after its decline in the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE. The paper also examines other additional devices, such as a formula with digneris, and forms of address.

Klíčová slova:
dignari; digneris; politeness; late Latin; Gregory of Tours


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