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
> 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
"We're counting on our virtues,
Cause it's too hard to count the dead."
- Jason Webley