Romanian definite article revisited


  • Sorin Paliga University of Bucharest



Romanian definite article revisited


I shall attempt to resume a long, almost endless discussion: the origin of the Romanian definite article. Any grammar of Romanian or any comparative grammar the Romance languages (e. g. Tagliavini 1977) always observes that Romanian, an iso­ lated case in the Romance family, has an agglutinated definite article. The typology is not indeed rare: Bulgarian, Albanian, Armenian, Basque and Swedish witness the same mechanism. We cannot approach the topic by analysing all these languages, yet a comparative analysis would be finally useful. In our case, it is obvious that Romanian cannot be isolated from Albanian and Bulgarian. A potential solution must explain the situation in ALL these three "Balkanic" languages, even if Romanian is not Balkanic stricto sensu1. The paper shall focus on the deep roots of the Romanian and Albanian definite arti­ cle, its typological relations with other linguistic areas, and shall attempt to explain this isolated situation in the field of Romance linguistics. For sure, the Romanian definite article mainly reflects the Latin heritage. Nevertheless, by saying only this, the tableau is not complete: some forms are not Latin but Pre-Latin, Thracian. This paper will try to substantiate this assertion.


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How to Cite

Paliga, S. (1999). Romanian definite article revisited. Linguistica, 39(1), 71–82.