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Rise and fall of referentiality

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Abstract

In this paper, we look into expansion and spread of non-referential uses in articles in Philippine languages with special attention to two competing articles, <i>ang</i> and <i>yung</i>, in Tagalog. There are four claims we make in this paper. First, the functions of <i>ang</i>-marked nominals have been expanding from referential to non-referential uses. Second, <i>yung</i> is emerging as an article for referential nominals, taking over and expanding the referential uses of <i>ang</i>. Third, there is an emerging semantic distinction between <i>ang</i> and <i>yung</i> in spoken discourse: <i>ang</i> is for non-referential uses and <i>yung</i> for referential ones. Lastly, in other Philippine languages, as well, there is evidence of an existing article obtaining non-referential uses and a newer article emerging for referential nominals.

References

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