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Old 05-10-2009, 03:56 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
Slovak, in which century do you think the definite article first developed? I know of Macedonian texts dating from the 16th century where it is used, how much earlier than that could it have been?
I read that the definite article started to appear in around 12th century, but at that time it was still the demonstrative pronoun that was used in postposition instead of preposition like in other languages. In Slovak for example, the pronoun still exists today as ten, tá, to, or in Serbian as taj, ta, to. They are of coursed changed (declined) by cases. The pronoun was first too declined in Macedonian and Bulgarian after it entered postposition. So for example место то which is in the Nominative case could be места того in the Genitive case or месту тому in the Dative case. At some point cases were dropped and the pronoun became the article. In almost all Indo-European languages today that use a definite article the article almost always evolved from the demonstrative pronoun. As for when the usage of the definite article was definite? I can't say. It was in the Late Medieval period at least (13th-15th century).
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