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Agreement on the definite article and demonstratives

The definite and demonstrative articles are unique among the quantifiers in irregularly expressing strong agreement.


The definite article makes the relevant number and gender distinctions by virtue of its lexical shape, and not by virtue of the schwa-addition scheme, and the same applies to the distal demonstrative and the proximate demonstrative. In contrast, the universal quantifier, for example, makes the relevant distinctions by virtue of the schwa-addition scheme:

Table 1
Neuter singular Other
Definite article it it de the
Demonstrative 1 dit this dizze this
Demonstrative 2 dat that dy that
Universal quantifier elk each elke each
Application of the regular scheme of agreement which characterizes adjectives would yield non-existent forms for the plural and for the common gender of the definite and demonstrative articles:
Table 2
Neuter singular Other
Adjective grien green grien-e green
Definite article it it *it-e it
Demonstrative 1 dit this *dit-e this
Demonstrative 2 dat that *dat-e that