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Original scientific paper

Branimir Belaj, e-mail, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Osijek

Darko Matovac, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb

 

Abstract 

In Slavic languages the indefinite determiners can have the determining function of the
indefinite article and therefore function as a grounding element within a nominal, a fact
that is either neglected or misinterpreted in grammar books. This paper thus addresses
the issue of the article–like use of the indefinite determiners in Slavic languages, with
special emphasis on Croatian jedanand neki. Further attention is devoted to Bulgarian,

Macedonian and Upper Sorbian, the languages in which the indefinite determiner,
which developed from the numeral 'one', has been grammaticalized to the extent that
it can be used as an indefinite article not only in indefinite specific, but in indefinite
non–specific and, when it comes to Upper Sorbian, generic contexts as well. The paper
focuses on different properties of the article–like use of the indefinite determiners, e.g.
their distribution or ability to combine with hierarchically lower means of grounding.
These properties are consistent with the properties of the indefinite articles in languages
that have fully grammaticalized this grammatical category. The theoretical framework
employed in this paper is that of functional–typological approaches to language and, to
some extent, Cognitive Grammar.

 

Key words

indefinite determiner, indefinite article, grammaticalization, determinative
intensifier, Slavic languages

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