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You're correct on the Irish "na", I had forgotten that.  Breton also, 
like Welsh, has morphophonemic changes ("ar" vs. "an") that are not 
gender related.

"a" is the definite article in Scottish Gaelic, I believe (well, 
technically it's a' and really contracted from original Gaelic an, which 
I think still shows in front of vowels, but...), and of course is the 
feminine singular definite article in Portuguese, so why not?


You could just go with some modification of "z", for example "as" or "ash".
On 05/15/2014 01:44 PM, Jeff Daniel Rollin-Jones wrote:
> Both of those were staring me in the face, Tony! Thanks. Welsh (another Celtic language) is of course even more pertinent since although there are three articles, or forms of the article ("y", "yr" and "'r"), they are purely morphophonemic alternations and have nothing to do with gender or number, unlike "na" which as you say is plural (and also feminine singular genitive, if memory serves).
>
> Still doesn't help with deciding the form of the article, though. Very fond of Hungarian's "a" and "az" (which, although the first one looks like the English word, are both definite articles, the one used before words beginning with a consonant, and the other used before those beginning with a vowel), but not so crazy about also having "z" in other places. Maybe the article was borrowed and the phoneme doesn't occur in other borrowings (the /Z/ sound of English words like "vision" only appears in loanwords, for example)? OTOH, isn't borrowing them wholesale a cop out?
>
> On 15 May 2014, at 18:28, Tony Harris <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Wouldn't Semetic languages like Arabic and Hebrew count?  Arabic article is always al and Hebrew article is always ha  (both with phonetic variations, such as Arabic mutating the L to match the initial consonant of the following word, and Hebrew modifying the vowel depending on the first vowel in the following word, but no gender-based modifications).  And both languages have strong gender systems.
>>
>> Actually, the Celtic languages do that too, don't they?  Irish article is always an (pl. na) but Irish has gender as well.  Same with the other Celtic languages.
>>
>>
>> On 05/15/2014 01:13 PM, Jeff Daniel Rollin-Jones wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> Articles are still troubling me! My question is, are there any natlangs which have morphological gender systems and articles, but in which the article does not vary for gender?
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> Jeff
>>>
>>> Sent from my iPhone
> Jeffrey Daniel Rollin-Jones
> Sent from my iMac