13 votes

Are there other languages, besides English, where the indefinite (or definite) article varies based on sound?

In Italian, both the indefinite and the definite article change in spelling and pronunciation depending on the following sound, in the masculine gender. Before vowels, the masculine indefinite ...
LjL's user avatar
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10 votes

Are there other languages, besides English, where the indefinite (or definite) article varies based on sound?

A famous example is the Arabic language where the the definite article al assimilates to one half of the potential following consonants called Sun letters in Arabic grammar. So it is an-Nil "the Nile" ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
8 votes

Are there other languages, besides English, where the indefinite (or definite) article varies based on sound?

Quite similarly to Italian (see @LjL very complete answer) and a few other Romance languages, French does this for indefinite and definite articles, but not really the same way English does, in the ...
zdimension's user avatar
8 votes

Are there other languages, besides English, where the indefinite (or definite) article varies based on sound?

Catalan masculine singular definite articles. /l/ before a vowel sound. /el/ before anything else. What triggers this allomorphy is clearly the sound, not the letter, as we see l'interval /linteɾval/...
Ignatius's user avatar
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5 votes

Understanding the purpose of determiners/articles/demonstratives in language

Well, I explained the why it's useful in your other question so if you're asking about the process as curiousdannii said, that is you are asking about the grammaticalisation cycle, I could explain a ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
5 votes

Are there other languages, besides English, where the indefinite (or definite) article varies based on sound?

Most of the famous examples in Europe and the Mediterranean have been mentioned, but we should add the languages where the definite article is simply a suffix, for example the core languages of the ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
4 votes

Are there other languages, besides English, where the indefinite (or definite) article varies based on sound?

Yiddish has exactly the same indefinite article system as English. a talmed = a student an epfl = an apple
Michael's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Is there a language with dual indefinite articles?

Ancient Greek arguably has a dual indefinite article tiné. Literally it means "some [two things]", and is unrelated to the numeral "two". To elaborate a bit more: Ancient Greek didn't have mandatory ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes

Does "a" in "I made a mistake" denote indefiniteness?

Once "a" is removed from the above sentence, it becomes ungrammatical as follows: *I made mistake. Now, is this sentence ungrammatical because now mistake isn't indefinite anymore without &...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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2 votes

Does "a" in "I made a mistake" denote indefiniteness?

The "indefinite article" is called that because it is an article* and it is used with indefinite noun phrases. It certainly isn't a necessary part of all indefinite noun phrases: the English ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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2 votes

Are there other languages, besides English, where the indefinite (or definite) article varies based on sound?

In Spanish, before a feminine noun with stressed initial /a/, the usual feminine singular definite article la has an alomorph el (which is identical to the masculine singular definite article). la ...
iacobo's user avatar
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2 votes

Are there languages with indefinite articles but for which the word for "one" is not related etymologically to any of the indefinite articles?

Czech seems to be developing some sort of definite/indefinite articles with definite ones being evolved from demonstrative pronoun "ten" (this), while indefinite ones from the undetermined pronominal ...
Eleshar's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

How much more often is a definite article used with a noun than an indefinite article in the English language?

The Leipzig Wortschatz Portal is a good place to get answers for this kind of questions. The definite article is more than twice as frequent as the indefinite one (158M vs 67M + 10M). Unfortunately, ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
1 vote

Is the indefinite article a quantifier?

The indefinite article surely is a quantifier -- as you say, it quantifies an NP to indicate existence and, more arguably, uniqueness. The reason you haven't found it explicitly listed as such might ...
Natalie Clarius's user avatar
1 vote

Definite descriptions and essentially indistinguishable participants

I think it solves most of the natural language problem to realize that a definite description conveys the uniqueness of its referent (rather than assuming it). And the rest is solved when you realize ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
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1 vote

"Indifferent" reference of specific indefinites?

Replacing "He" in the antecedent by "one of two boys" would be ambiguous, because mere repitition could mean the other boy. "the/this/that one of the two boys" makes a ...
vectory's user avatar
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1 vote

Tools to work with definiteness

I strongly recommend looking at systemic functional linguistics. SFL can offer a few different perspectives. At the syntax level, which SFL calls lexicogrammar, it would be useful to look at the use ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 11

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