Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture

The expansion of the l-articles in Medieval French as a consequence of a semantic shift

  • Alexandra Simonenko
Date
Thursday 30 March 2017
Time
Series
LUSH
Location
Van Wijkplaats
Van Wijkplaats 4
2311 BX Leiden
Room
006

Abstract

This project investigates the emergence of articles in Medieval French on the basis of quantitative data from parsed corpora MCVF and Penn Supplement to MCVF. We propose a semantic evolution path that accounts for the distribution of articles in Medieval French. Specifically, we suggest that in the history of French the definite series of articles underwent a change from strong to weak definite semantics (in the sense of Schwarz 2009), with both meanings being in competition since the earliest attested texts. This semantic shift yielded a progressive expansion of the definite article, which contributed to the eventual disappearance of bare nouns.

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