1887
Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4169
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9927
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Abstract

The indefinite plural article in medieval French conjoins the features of unity and plurality. Because of its grammatical nature, is not restricted to lexical plurals, but combines in a productive way to nouns having a regular singular-plural alternation in order to create a complex referent not reducible to the sum of its components. Moreover, expresses not only quantitative unity ‘one single N’, but also qualitative unity ‘one same N’ and is not linked to lexical plurality in the latter case. Since its features of unity and plurality are considered as incompatible, plural indefinite articles have been assumed to emerge in an advanced stage of grammaticalization, when the numeral source meaning is bleached out, and to be not viable over time. Both hypotheses were invalidated in the present study.

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2017-03-20
2019-08-23
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): grammaticalization , indefinite article and lexical plural
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