Print

Print


I'd guess a definite article may come from a local adverb 'here' or
'there', and in that case it would not have any gender distinction even if
the language has gender otherwise. Consider the demonstratives of modern
spoken Swedish: _denna/detta/dessa_ 'this/these' isn't used much, instead
one says _den här/det här/de här_ 'that/those here' and _den där/det där/de
där_ 'that/those there' with _den/det/de_ being unstressed (and BTW also
being identical to the free definite articles) so I can well imagine a
future where the actual pronouns fall off leaving Swedish with invariable
demonstratives in spite of having gender and number marking on nominals.

/bpj
Den 21 maj 2014 09:03 skrev "Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets" <
[log in to unmask]>:

> On 15 May 2014 19:44, Jeff Daniel Rollin-Jones <[log in to unmask]
> >wrote:
>
> >
> > 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?
> >
> >
> Try and decide where that article comes from. It needn't have been borrowed
> from another language's article: it could come from a demonstrative, as
> articles often do. In my Romance conlang Reman for instance, I didn't want
> the article to be the usual ille-based thing, so I went with iste instead,
> and the article ended up becoming _ì_ in front of consonants and _t'_ in
> front of vowels (the article is otherwise invariable). Reman is a bit of an
> odd one out as a Romance language (it lost gender distinctions except in
> pronouns and developed nominal sentences, for instance. On the other hand,
> it kept some archaic features like a genitive case and a synthetic passive
> conjugation), so it works well for it :).
> --
> Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
> President of the Language Creation Society (http://conlang.org/)
>
> Personal Website: http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
>