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Title: Definiteness in Bulgarian
Subtitle: Mofrling the Process of Language Change
Written By: Olga M. Mladenova
Series Title: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs [TiLSM] 168

In its evolution from a synthetic to an analytic language, Bulgarian
acquired a grammaticalized category of definiteness. The book presents the
first attempt to explore in detail how this happened by comparing the
earliest Modern Bulgarian texts with contemporary dialect and standard
Bulgarian data. The basic units of analysis are the various types of
nominal structures headed by nouns or pronouns. The analysis requires the
strict terminological disentanglement of form from content and the adoption
of a default inheritance model of definiteness that allow the exhaustive
classification and tagging of nominal structures encountered in the texts.
Tagging makes it possible to apply quantitative analysis to nominal
structure and to assess the types available in the early texts from a
current native-speaker perspective.

Based on an S-curve model of language change, the study establishes that
overt markers of definiteness were first made available to
identifiability-based definites, then to inclusiveness-based definites,
quantitative generics and unique referents. The overt markers of
indefiniteness followed suit, separating indefinites from non-specifics and
typifying generics. This progression of definiteness was directed by
variables such as person, animacy, gender, number and noun-class, and
started in contexts in which definiteness closely interacted with
possessivity. Such an analysis leads to the realization that the
two-dimensional S-curve model does not account for all language change and
that there is a need for a three-dimensional model. It also demonstrates
that, contrary to previous assumptions, there is continuity between the
early Slavic marker of definiteness (long-form adjectives) and the Modern
Bulgarian article. This discovery, in conjunction with geolinguistic
arguments, sheds new light on the role that relations inside the Balkan
Sprachbund played in the grammaticalization of Bulgarian definiteness.

Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): Bulgarian
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110195577
ISBN-13: 9783110195576
Pages: 472
Prices: Europe EURO 128.00
U.S. $ 179.00