Contact-induced change in the languages of Europe: The rise and development of partitive cases and determiners in Finnic and Basque

Silvia Luraghi 1 , Merlijn De Smit 2  and Iván Igartua 3
  • 1 Department of Humanities – Linguistic Section, University of Pavia, 27100, Pavia, Italy
  • 2 Division of Finnish, Stockholm University, Universitetsvägen 10 E, plan 9, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 3 Department of Classical Studies, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 01006, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Silvia Luraghi
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  • Department of Humanities – Linguistic Section, University of Pavia, 27100, Pavia, Italy
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, Merlijn De Smit and Iván Igartua
  • Department of Classical Studies, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, 01006, Spain
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Abstract

This paper explores the hypothesis of contact-induced change for the rise of the partitive case in Finnic languages and of the partitive case/determiner in Basque. On the basis of the well-established Indo-European partitive-genitive case and taking into account the lack of such a basis on the Uralic side, we argue that the partitive case in Finnic languages has arisen as a result of Balto-Slavic influence. Concerning the Basque partitive determiner, we likewise suggest a contact scenario (with Romance languages) as being responsible for the development of an entire system of determiners, including the definite and possibly the indefinite article as well as the partitive marker, which originates in an old ablative ending but crucially lacks the morphological properties characteristic of Basque inflectional markers.

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