In fact, there were no article in Germanic languages including English and German. As time goes by, however, the definite article and indefinite article derived each from the pronoun and numeral. Actually, among Indo-European languages, there are vari ...
In fact, there were no article in Germanic languages including English and German. As time goes by, however, the definite article and indefinite article derived each from the pronoun and numeral. Actually, among Indo-European languages, there are various types of languages which have no definite and indefinite article and have either definite or indefinite article. But in modern German and English, all nominal expressions should accompany the article except the specific case, and the Germanic group which these two languages belong to became the group with the most developed article system. Therefore, this study observed the development process of the definite and indefinite article in individual languages which derived from the common ancestor language, Proto-Germanic language, focused on German and English. And this study dealt with the various language change phenomena related to the developement process of articles. The object of this study is as follows.
○ The development process of definite and indefinite article in individual languages which derived from Proto-Germanic language is observed from the morphological perspective and functional perspective as well.
○ The development process of articles observed in individual languages and the related language change phenomena are compared and analyzed, and with that, the universal principle or mechanism for language change are studied.
And the study is largely divided into three parts.
1) Study on the origin and historical development process of articles.
The system with definite and indefinite articles in West-Germanic languages was influenced by Latin, and such typological innovation also influenced on Old Norse. But in fact, the usage of articles of English and Old French are so different. Thus, the existing argument for the influence by language contact should be reconsidered. Heine(1997, 155-156) divided the development of indefinite article into 5 stages, and Hawkins(2004) devided the development of definite article into 4 stages according to the gradual semantic and pragmatic development stage. But the development to each stage proceeded gradually through the ambiguous stages between each stage, and these ambiguous stages in individual languages are observed in different types.
2) Comparison and Analysis of development processes and changing types of arcitles.
The development processes and changing types in individual languages are compared and analyzed, based on the material in individual languages, and the analysis of language universal causes and historical compararive explanation are performed. The development process of articles is related to the nominal declension and various morphological and syntactical change, in additon to the change of articles itself. In Germanic languages, the development of definite and indefinite articles is related to the usages of adjective strong and weak inflection.
3) Various Approach to the changing phenomena related to the articles.
The typological approach to the existence and development type of articles in Europe is performed. The language contact between Germanic language and neighboring languages, especially Romance language group, and various external linguistic causes are researched. Many typologists assume that the appearance of articles in European region was caused by linguistic innovation within Romance language group, and with areal diffusion, in ther words with the contact between Romance and other language group, the articles were made in neighboring langauges. But, in fact, the usages of articles in Old High German, Old English and Old French are different from each other, and it shows that it is not a problem simply related to language contact.