The noun phrase in Germanic and Romance

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In this introductory chapter some of the main (dis)similarities in DP-syntax between the Germanic and Romance languages, as well as between the individual languages of each group, are explored. We take a look at the following subjects: (a) the ways in which the various languages express definiteness; (b) the position of adjectives; (c) the function of the weak declension of adjectives in Germanic; (d) the evolution of genitive equivalents; and (e) the emergence of determining possessives in Germanic. In each case we try to find out whether a given construction is inherited from the parent language or is an independent development in each of the languages or language groups. Special attention is paid to common developments after the languages split up into separate entities, since they might indicate some inherent properties of human language that restrict the way in which languages may develop.


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