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Brown and Gilman argue that modern usage no longer supports these definitions.

Developments from the nineteenth century have seen the solidarity semantic more consistently applied.

The development was slow and erratic, but a consistent pattern of use is estimated to have been reached in different European societies by the period 1100 to 1500.

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Less commonly, the use of the plural may be extended to other persons, such as the "royal we" (majestic plural) in English.

Brown and Gilman argued that the choice of form is governed by either relationships of 'power' and/or 'solidarity', depending on the culture of the speakers, showing that 'power' had been the dominant predictor of form in Europe until the twentieth century.

The morphosyntactic T–V distinction, though, is found in a variety of languages around the world.

Modern English technically has the T–V distinction, manifested in the pronouns thou and you, though the familiar thou is no longer used in most contemporary dialects.

Thus a speaker with superior power might choose V to express fellow feeling with a subordinate.

For example, a restaurant customer might use V to their favourite waiter.In sociolinguistics, a T–V distinction (from the Latin pronouns tu and vos) is a contrast, within one language, between various forms of addressing one's conversation partner or partners that are specialized for varying levels of politeness, social distance, courtesy, familiarity, age or insult toward the addressee.Many languages lack this type of distinction, instead relying on more explicit wording to convey these meanings.Thus, it was quite normal for a powerful person to use a T-form but expect a V-form in return.However, in the twentieth century the dynamic shifted in favour of solidarity, so that people would use T-forms with those they knew, and V-forms in service encounters, with reciprocal usage being the norm in both cases.These choices were available not only to reflect permanent relationships, but to express momentary changes of attitude.

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