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Tech "disappearing" definite articles

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Monday, December 30, 2002, 21:37
Well I came up with an idea while riding home from the store today. I've
been struggling with how definite articles will be worked out. Originally, I
had /?a/, a borrowing from Hungarian (and Portuguese feminine). Then I found
that Arabic /?al/ and Hebrew /ha/ seem to refer to a Proto-Semitic /Sa/ or
something (that's "sh", not emphatic "s").

In the spirit of language "compression" (in other words, saying as much as
possible with as few syllables as possible), I decided on a definite article
that consists of one consonant, which disappears before words beginning with
a consonant other than a glottal stop (alif), leaving its evidence by
mutating the initial consonant, a lot like occurs in Welsh.

So, for the adjective /kvir/ "big, great" in the singular number, nominative

Masculine: /kvir/
Feminine: /xvir@/ (with suffixed /t/ if the next word begins with a glottal
Neuter: /N_hviro~/ (/N_h/ should be a voiceless-aspirated /N/, as in Welsh

But for /?&xbr/ "bigger, greater": (& = IPA ae-ligature)

Masculine: /h&xbr/ (h-)
Feminine: /t&xbr@/ (t-)
Neuter: /n&xbro~/ (n-)

A natlang case that I know of are the Berber languages, which have a
feminine definite article, /t/, affixed to the beginning of the noun, which
is also marked for gender with the /t/ suffix. The name of the language
Tamazight is likewise related to its script, Amazigh.