Tagged Questions

Indicates definiteness or indefiniteness of a noun, member of a small class of determiners.

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0answers
42 views

“an” -> “a” When Describing a Noun With Adjectives

Observed in fluent speech: a unrounded vowel To a native English speaker, the following would be expected instead: an unrounded vowel What's happening here? It looks like the speaker is ...
1
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0answers
41 views

(in)definite articles

Do any languages distinguish between indefinite and definite articles thus: one beer 1sg-drink `I drank A beer.' beer 1sg-drink `I drank THE/A beer.' That is, is it possible for a language to mark ...
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1answer
88 views

The word 'all' as an article, rather than an adjective?

The grammar descriptions of some languages seem to treat words like all and no, as in 'all giraffes are yellow' and 'no pigs have wings' simply as adjectives, because the words they determine are the ...
5
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3answers
696 views

Origin of articles in European languages

I read that PIE, Latin, old English, and even old German did not use articles, yet current English, German and Romance languages all use articles. Is it true that articles developed in all these ...
3
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0answers
68 views

Resources/papers on Portuguese nominal syntax and determiners?

I'm vaguely aware that the (definite) determiner has a much freer distribution in Portuguese than in other languages, e.g. it can come before personal names: A Maria lê um livro. The Maria ...
6
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1answer
237 views

Usage of definite articles in Germanic and Romance languages

In the Germanic languages, a generic construction using the definite article with mass nouns is unacceptable. In contrast, Romance languages require the definite article to make the generic ...
1
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1answer
349 views

Why is the definite, indefinite, and partitive article grouped together?

According to this answer to the question : Do some languages have articles besides the definite and indefinite articles? It is worth noting, I think, that "article" is not a theoretical ...
7
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2answers
263 views

What is an “adjectival article”? Apparently Albanian “të” is one

Being in Albania I decided to sit down with a word frequency list of the language and look each up so I would know some of the common words I see around me. The second most common word in Albanian is ...
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8answers
2k views

How is definiteness expressed in languages with no definite article, clitic or affix?

According to WALS Feature 37A: Definite Articles, 198 languages have no definite or indefinite article, and 45 have no definite article but have indefinite articles. These number excludes languages ...
6
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1answer
366 views

What diagnostics distinguish demonstratives from definite articles?

Historically, definite articles are often related to demonstratives. How might one characterize whether a word in a language is a definite article or a demonstrative?
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2answers
159 views

How do linguists determine whether a language has an indefinite article?

Given: For those languages which have it, the indefinite article mostly if not always is derived from the numeral for "one". Most languages have numbers but many lack articles. How do linguists ...
5
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4answers
423 views

Why is the definite article in Balkan languages always called a suffix when it really seems to be part of the inflection?

The Scandinavian languages have a suffix definite article which is pretty straightforwardly tacked on to to the ends of nouns: -en, -et. But in languages of the Balkan Sprachbund, Romanian, ...
19
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10answers
744 views

Do some languages have articles besides the definite and indefinite articles?

Most languages have either no articles, or one or both of the definite (akin to English "the") and indefinite (akin to English "a" / "an"). But are there other kinds of articles, and which languages ...
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10answers
1k views

Articles before the name of a person

In the question “La” or “le” before a person's name? on the French SE site, the asker refers to the phenomenon that in some rural/dialect settings the first name of a person is preceded by the ...