Where do the Balkan Sprachbund features come from?

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by OBrasilo, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. OBrasilo

    OBrasilo Senior Member

    Koper, Slovenia, Central Europe
    Brazil, Brazilian Portuguese
    So my question is, where do the features of the Balkan Sprachbund languages come from? I mean features such as the definite article added to the end of the word, future tens formed with "to want" or the like, and so on.

    I was thinking they could be a result of Germanic influence, specifically of the Balkan Goths. They could have come from Scandiavia, where the languages today (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish) show the same features as the Balkan Sprachbund or almost. They add articles to the end (kung king, but kungen the king, cf. Macedonian kral king, but kralot the king, rege vs regele in Romanian, and mbret vs. mbreti in Albanian), they IIRC form the future with a form of "will", they show some erosion of the infinitive (loss of final -n, same as happened in Greek before the final loss of the infinitive), and so on. But on the other hand, there is little to no evidence of any language resembling Swedish, Norwegian or Danish being spoken at any time in the Balkans. There was Balkan Gothic, but I'm not sure if its grammar resembled the modern Scandinavian languages.

    So where do those features come from?
  2. CapnPrep Senior Member

    You will not get a definitive answer here, but if you are interested in previous discussions, have a look at the following existing threads:
    Balkan Sprachbund
    Romanian: definite article
  3. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    The postpositive article appeared in Scandinavian languages many centuries after the Goths left the Balkans. In the Gothic language of Ulfila's Bible there is no article, either prepositive or postpositive, only a tendency towards extended use of the demonstrative pronoun. Also, the postpositive article (-от, -та, -то, -те) exists in Nothern Russian dialects, which obviously had no contacts with the Balkan speakers in the last 1500 years.

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