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Re: Arabic article (was: Corpses)

From:JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
Date:Thursday, November 13, 2003, 19:51
Benct Philip Jonsson sikyal:

> At 14:20 13.11.2003, John Cowan wrote: > > >Which leads us to the 64-peseta question: why were the Spanish so > >utterly unable to recognize the Arabic article as such, despite its > >strong semantic and even phonological resemblance to their own article? > >The surrounding Romance languages all have clitic articles, and have > >contributed a great deal of vocabulary to Spanish, but there has never > >been any question of borrowing words from them with the article still > >attached. > > Probably because most spaniards didn't learn > Arabic at all, but a Berber-Arabic pidgin > used by the Berber soldiery(sp?) and probably > also by the Arabic-speaking lords when speaking > to such low-lifes as Berber soldiers or > christian peasants/workers. > > Indeed I find it equally odd that speakers > of French creoles haven't found out that > the la-/li-/l- at the beginning of most > of their nouns is actually redundant, unless > they feel it as a part-of-speech marker.
In Haitian creole, at least, the l- prefix has acquired grammatical significance and so can't be dropped. Specifically, count nouns generally begin with l-, while mass nouns begin with d- (from French 'de'), so even if the Haitians could recognize the l- as an old article, they certainly couldn't get rid of it now without messing up their grammar! -- Jesse S. Bangs "We're counting on our virtues, Cause it's too hard to count the dead." - Jason Webley