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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 that
> > > > > > Mike Ellis
> > Icelandic? Horse-the. > > > > Sally Caves
> As somebody already said, the language in question is Basque, with the
> suffix -a. I stole this feature in Moten, making it into an infix: -e-: > > Christophe.
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. Regards, Thomas