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On the history of Romanian genitives: The prenominal genitive

Publication: Bucharest Working Papers in Linguistics, XIII (2)
Publisher:Universitatea din București
Abstract:In this paper† we focus on the behaviour of prenominal genitives in Old Romanian in contrast with Modern Romanian. In the old language, the prenominal genitive is more widely used and occurs in three distinct configurations: (i) it is a determiner genitive in DP-initial position and checks the definiteness feature of D in a local configuration, (ii) it is a lower determiner genitive which checks the definiteness feature of D across an intervening constituent, and (iii) it is an attributive/property genitive, similar to the attributive genitive of English and to the genitival adjectives of (certain) Slavic languages. Of these three distinct configurations, only the first one is still available in Modern Romanian. In trying to provide an explanation for the loss of some of the prenominal genitive patterns, we relate this phenomenon to changes in the syntax of the definite article.
Key words:prenominal genitive, determiner genitive, property genitive, syntactic variation, syntactic change

Citations to this publication: 6

References in this publication: 14

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