Emphatic elements and the development of definite articles
Evidence for a layered DP in early Romance
AbstractThis paper examines the evolution of double article systems in two Romance varieties, Balearic Catalan and Picard. In these languages the two definite articles have different syntactic distributions. We account for these double article systems with a multi-layered DP analysis that maps semantically onto Löbner’s (1985, 2011) Uniqueness Scale, further developed in Ortmann (2014). We trace the origins of the present-day definite articles to the Latin demonstrative ille (Catalan, Picard), emphatic pronoun and adnominal ipse (Catalan), and emphatic interjection particle ecce (Picard).The development of the present-day definite articles involved a stage where an emphatic form competed with the demonstrative. In the majority of the present-day Romance languages, a single definite article emerged from the competition that was already underway in Latin. In the Romance varieties considered here, two different forms emerged, but they took on different semantic interpretations. We show how the relevant semantic properties of the three Latin forms are discernible in the distribution of the definite articles that developed from them and that still exist in the present-day varieties.
Copyright (c) 2021 Judy Bernstein, Francisco Ordóñez, Francesc Roca
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Articles appearing in Journal of Historical Syntax are published under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Authors retain copyright.