From Adjectives to Quantifiers. Evidence from Old and Modern Catalan

Bruno Camus Bergareche, Manuel Pérez-Saldanya


The history of indefinite quantifiers in Romance languages is basically the history of the development of new distributional patterns in the case of some Latin adjectives (Company 1991, 1997; Batllori 1998). This new distribution will contribute to the construction of the new subclass of Romance determiners we call Quantifiers. As explained by Zamparelli (2000), the growing structural complexity of the left margin of DetP entails the specialization of old word classes for those new positions. A Quantifier position creates thus the Quantifier word class. This is a longterm process, the effects of which are clearly seen in medieval Romance for words derived from adjectives, such as MULTUS and PAUCUS, but also in later Romance adjectives such as Catalan bastant or even in Contemporary Catalan with the word suficient, which has a similar meaning (Brucart; Rigau 2002, Camus 2005, 2008, 2009).


Word Class; Distributional Patterns; Left Margin of DetP; Catalan Diachronic Syntax; Indefinite Quantifiers

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