Article published in:Essays on Nominal Determination: From morphology to discourse management
Edited by Henrik Høeg Müller and Alex Klinge
[Studies in Language Companion Series 99] 2008
► pp. 233–263
Stating the case for þ- root and hw- root determiners
In this article I will show that the existence of coherent classes of determiners based on pan-Germanic þ- and hw- roots, such as English ‘this’ and ‘which’ and German ‘diese’ and ‘welche’, make it necessary to reanalyse the syntactic classes and paradigmatic contrasts in the functional domain of Germanic DPs. It will be argued that the two þ- and hw- morphemes contain procedural semantics which encodes two contrasting ways that a referent may be identified for an index in a propositional form. I will focus on English and German, but reference will also be made to Danish.As a first step it will be argued that there is no coherent syntactic class of articles. Then I will draw on etymological and comparative data, and on morphological and distributional facts to show that the two morphemes have been remarkably resilient across Germanic languages for more than a thousand years. Finally, I will anchor their resilience in their semantic and pragmatic raison d’être.
Published online: 09 July 2008
Cited by 3 other publications
Bernstein, Judy B.
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