Proceedings of FDSL 9, Göttingen 2011
Ljudmila Geist: Bulgarian edin: The Rise of an Indefinite Article
Bulgarian edin: The Rise of an Indefinite Article∗ Ljudmila Geist University of Stuttgart Abstract In many languages, the indefinite article emerges from the numeral ONE. In the course of its diachronic development it acquires additional functions such as marking of specificity and genericity. Thus, different functions of indefinite articles can be seen as stages in the process of grammaticalization. This paper examines the use of edin in Bulgarian as a marker of indefiniteness. It shows that it has reached the stage of a specificity marker and is developing the predicative and the generic use. This leads to the conclusion that edin has not yet entirely achieved the stage of indefinite article but merely has the intermediate status, the status of an indefinite determiner. The findings concerning the current functions of edin in this paper lead to a modification of the implicational scale of functions of indefinite articles proposed in the literature. 1 Introduction It has commonly been assumed that Slavic languages have no indefinite articles. However, there are hints that the counterpart of the numeral ONE in Bulgarian can serve as a marker of indefinite reference. Consider example (1). (1) Marija se omâži za edin lingvist. Mary refl married prep one linguist ‘Mary married a linguist.’ Here edin does not highlight the cardinality (the sentence is not understood as being an answer to “How many linguists did she marry last year?”) but indicates indefinite reference, i.e., it is used to contribute an existential claim and to introduce a new...
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