Wow! That is so similar to Carrajina. Every NP is marked by an article. The my father, the those, the his one car green large, etc. The one time an article is not used is with a vocative. Adam On 6/1/10, J. 'Mach' Wust <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > On Tue, 1 Jun 2010 19:21:27 -0500, Eric Christopherson <[log in to unmask]> > wrote: > >>Mainly I guess the problem is that I have a fairly fixed idea of the > division between >>definite and indefinite, and I find it hard to imagine a situation (taking > place within one >>language only) where nominals that were once definite would lose their > definiteness. I >>don't know what the intermediate steps would be. > > I know one example of such a shift within one language (without borrowings > or pidgins/creoles). It is a (somewhat outdated) Bernese word for > grandfather: /trętti/, from /t@r/ 'definit masculin NOM/ACC article' + > /ętti/ 'grandfather'. I guess this is to be explained as child language. A > child would hear more often /t@r ętti/ than /ętti/, so the child would learn > /trętti/ as one word even though that's not grammatical. > > In that 'lect, nouns referring to a person (personal names included) always > require a definit article, except in vocative use. The article is by far the > most important grammatical case marker. The vocative is different from the > other cases: Its function is not a grammatical role, but deixis. So only > those cases that bear a grammatical role are marked (with the article), but > the vocative is not. > > -- > grüess > mach > -- Vote for TIM URBAN as the next American Idol!