The 10th Anniversary FDSL Conference, Leipzig 2013
Gerhild Zybatow, Petr Biskup, Marcel Guhl, Claudia Hurtig, Olav Mueller-Reichau and Maria Yastrebova
The Definite Article in an Articleless Language
← 410 | 411 →Marija Runić
University of Padua
The aim of this paper is to shed light on the status of the weak demonstrative/definite article in Resian, a Slovenian dialect spoken in the province of Udine, in northeastern of Italy. Various scholars have claimed that among articleless languages in contact with article languages, Resian has reached the most advanced point in the grammaticalization of the definite article (Steenwijk 1992, Benacchio 2002, Heine & Kuteva 2006). However, unlike previous studies, which either supply little or no empirical support for the above claims (Steenwijk 1992; Heine & Kuteva 2006), or provide contexts in which at best the postulated definite article is used (Benacchio 2002), the present study attempts to provide a formal account of the emergence of the definite article in this dialect.1
Resian exhibits a deictically unspecified, unstressed demonstrative (henceforth weak demonstrative), assumed cross-linguistically to represent an intermediate stage toward the development of the definite article (Lyons 1999, 332). As illustrated in (1), this item can be deployed as a genuine demonstrative in its canonical, deictic use, but is insensitive to contrast in distance.
← 411 | 412 →(1)
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