(Definite) denotation and case in Romance

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Recent minimalist approaches have reduced case to independent primitives (agreement, Tense) &#8211; but without any connection to its morphological expression. To solve this dichotomy, we consider the Latin <i>-s</i> case ending. Rejecting default treatments, we conclude that <i>-s</i> is associated with denotational, operator properties. These can be read as the set forming operator i.e. plural; as the inclusion operator, i.e. partitive, possessor, etc. (in a word &#8216;oblique&#8217;); or as the quantificational closure of EPP contexts (&#8216;nominative&#8217;). These properties are preserved in the two-case declension of medieval Gallo-Romance, and in its residues in Romansh varieties. Thus so-called case is a denotational, &#8216;determiner-like&#8217; element, with consequences for the classical historical correlation between loss of Latin case and development of the Romance determiner system.


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