The morphosyntax of definiteness agreement in Neo-Aramaic and Central Semitic

This item is provided by the institution :
University of Patras
Repository :
Pasithee - e-publishing platform/service for Open Access journals
see the original item page
in the repository's web site and access all digital files if the item*

2016 (EN)
The morphosyntax of definiteness agreement in Neo-Aramaic and Central Semitic (EN)

Doron, Edit; Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Khan, Geoffrey; University of Cambridge

The article describes the progression of the Neo-Aramaic dialects along the first stage of Greenberg’s cycle, where demonstrative pronouns turn into definite articles. We suggest that the same progression might have originally taken place in Central Semitic, and that it is this process which accounts for the multiple marking of definiteness in the Central Semitic noun phrase. The article describes the two main factors of the change in Neo-Aramaic: First, the syntactic status of the definite article changes from a phrasal demonstrative to a lexical determiner head. Second, the attachment of the definite article to the attributive adjective originally marks the adjective as contrastive. These two factors put in motion a process whereby an original demonstrative phrase evolves into a marker of definiteness agreement. When the article is still a phrasal constituent, it attaches within the noun phrase either to the adjective or the noun, never to both. In subsequent stages, where the demonstrative pronoun has turned into a determiner, it may attach to both noun and adjective within the same noun phrase. Eventually, the latter option may grammaticalize into a marker of definiteness agreement, as it did in such Central Semitic languages as Arabic, Aramaic, and Hebrew. (EN)

Άρθρο που αξιολογήθηκε από ομότιμους αξιολογητές (EL)

anaphoric (EN)
adjective (EN)
definite (EN)
contrastive (EN)
definiteness agreement (EN)
Neo Aramaic (EN)
determiner (EN)
demonstrative (EN)
deictic (EN)
Central Semitic (EN)
article (EN)
demonstrative cycle (EN)

Πανεπιστήμιο Πατρών (EL)
University of Patras (EN)



Mediterranean Morphology Meetings (MMM) (EN)

Mediterranean Morphology Meeting; Τόμ. 10 (2016): Quo vadis morphology?; 45-54 (EL)
Mediterranean Morphology Meetings; Τόμ. 10 (2016): Quo vadis morphology?; 45-54 (EN)

*Institutions are responsible for keeping their URLs functional (digital file, item page in repository site)