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Word Order and Parameter Change in RomanianA Comparative Romance Perspective$
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Alexandru Nicolae

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198807360

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198807360.001.0001

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Demonstrative specialization and the emergence of the determiner cel

Demonstrative specialization and the emergence of the determiner cel

(p.163) 5 Demonstrative specialization and the emergence of the determiner cel
Word Order and Parameter Change in Romanian

Alexandru Nicolae

Oxford University Press

The first part of the chapter discusses the gradual steps of the diachronic specialization of Romanian demonstratives, the effect of which is a strict correlation between morphological strength (weak/strong) and syntactic status (head/phrase). The postnominal demonstrative construction of modern Romanian is shown to emerge diachronically from the structural simplification of a biphrasal appositional construction in a parametrically ambiguous context. The adjacency constraints active in DPs with postnominal demonstratives result from the phrasal status of strong demonstratives in conjunction with the general DP-internal movement options of modern Romanian. One of the effects of the specialization of demonstratives is the detachment of a distal weak form from the class of demonstratives (i.e. cel), and its grammaticalization as a freestanding definite determiner with special distributional and interpretative properties in Romanian; the development of the cel-constructions is taken up in the second part of the chapter.

Keywords:   adjacency constraint, adjectival article construction, categorial specialization, demonstratives, determiner grammaticalization, structural simplification

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