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ERIC Number: ED362025
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jan
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Development of the Definite Article from Latin to Spanish and Portuguese.
Faingold, Eduardo D.
A study analyzed the emergence of the definite article in language history from classical Latin to vulgar Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, and Rumanian. It traces the grammaticalization of demonstratives into both nominative and accusative definite articles, both pre- and post-nominal. It is shown that based on documents from the fourth to sixth century, speakers mark with Latin demonstratives those noun phrases whose referents have a prominent role in discourse or are accessible to the speaker and hearer before as well as after the noun phrase. Also, as found in eighth-century documents, noun phrases that are prominent or accessible to speaker and hearer are preceded by Latin demonstratives, and in the 12th century and modern Romance languages, the definite article precedes those noun phrases that can be identified by the speaker or hearer, regardless of whether or not they play a prominent role in discourse. It is proposed that similarity between demonstratives and articles is not coincidental, but due to processes whereby old forms acquire new functions, including more abstract functions. Therefore, part of the system used for mapping perceptual space in the real world (e.g., demonstratives) also serves to map space in discourse. Contains 18 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A