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The emergence of the grammatical paradigm of nominal determiners in French and in Romance: Comparative and diachronic perspectives

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

© Canadian Linguistic Association/Association canadienne de linguistique 2018. This article is devoted to the emergence of a new paradigm in French and Romance: that of nominal determiners. Latin had no articles, and although possessives, demonstratives and indefinites could determine the noun, they could also be used as pronouns or adjectives, so that the morpho-syntactic category of nominal determiners did not exist as such. We first examine the diachronic evolution of French, where a far-reaching grammaticalization process took place. Syntagmatically, all determiners end up in the NP-initial position as the only available syntactic slot, contributing to the highly configurational NP pattern characteristic of Modern French. From a paradigmatic viewpoint, determiners no longer correspond to a syntactic function, but to a separate morpho-syntactic category. We also evaluate to what extent this evolution took place in two other Romance languages, Italian and Spanish. Through the analysis of this particular evolution, based on parallel corpora consisting of a Latin text and its translations in Old, Middle, and Modern French on the one hand, and in Spanish and Italian on the other, our study also provides evidence for more general mechanisms, analogy in particular, at work in the creation of new paradigms.
Tijdschrift: The Canadian Journal of Linguistics
ISSN: 0008-4131
Issue: 2
Volume: 63
Pagina's: 1 - 16
Jaar van publicatie:2018
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Higher Education