Re: definite/indefinite articles
|From:||Thomas Leigh <thomas@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, April 5, 2003, 13:08|
> > > I've seen at least one language
> > > that marks definiteness with a suffix, but I can't remember what thatwas.
> > >
> > > Mike Ellis
> > Icelandic? Horse-the.
> > Sally Caves
> As somebody already said, the language in question is Basque, with thedefinite
> suffix -a. I stole this feature in Moten, making it into an infix: -e-:
Yes, Basque has a suffixed article, but it is neither inherently definite
nor indefinite; sometimes it has to be translated into English (and other
languages with indefinite and definite articles) as one, sometimes as the
other. The Basque article (singular -a, plural -ak) is added to most noun
phrases which have no other determiner.
Another non-IE lang which has a suffixed definite article is Amharic. For
masculine singular nouns and plural nouns, the definite article is -/u/
after consonants and -/w/ after vowels; for feminine singular nouns it can
be either -/wa/ (after both consonants and vowels) or -/itu/ (after
consonants)/-yitu/ (after vowels) interchangeably. Like other Semitic langs,
Amharic has no indefinite article.