My working assumption is that definite articles evolve in language after much of more simpler language, though they can later be lost from a language as it evolves further. First, it appears to me that simpler words such as verbs, nouns, and adjectives would be created first, then strung together into sequences like "give me leaf" instead of "give me the leaf", or "me want go lake" instead of "I want to go to the lake".
As such, I am interested to see how the key early languages that all seem to have lacked definite articles (Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian, Hittite, Ugaritic, Mycenaean, Sanskrit, even Latin?) say their sentences without "the". What are some examples in some/all of these languages, written in any sort of linguistic gloss-like form, that demonstrate how they would say/write the equivalent English sentence that would traditionally include the word "the". You can pick any sentence or two which would be easy to translate, the more complex the better, since they sometimes shine more light on the language structures used.
Some examples to potentially translate:
- I lit the fire.
- I climbed the tree.
- I looked for the animal.
- The animal ran away from me.
- The basket was full of fish.
- The bird tried to eat the fish (more examples of "the" used in a single sentence).
To top off the glosses, it would be good to know where I could find more examples of glosses in the particular languages you are translating, but not necessary. Ideal answer would include at least 3 languages with references.