One of the recurrent questions in historical linguistics is to what extent languages can borrow grammar from other languages. It seems for instance hardly likely that each 'average European' language developed a definite article all by itself, without any influence from neighbouring languages. It is, on the other hand, by no means clear what exactly was borrowed, since the way in which definiteness is expressed differs greatly among the various Germanic and Romance languages and dialects. One of the main aims of this volume is to shed some light on the question of what is similar and what is different in the structure of the noun phrase of the various Romance and Germanic languages and dialects, and what causes this similarity or difference.
1. Foreword; 2. The noun phrase in Germanic and Romance: Common developments and differences (by Perridon, Harry); 3. Part I. Variation; 4. Scaling the variation in Romance and Germanic nominalizations (by Alexiadou, Artemis); 5. What all happens when a universal quantifier combines with an interrogative DP (by Cirillo, Robert); 6. Micro-diversity in Dutch interrogative DPs: A case study on the (dis)continuous wat voor 'n N-construction (by Corver, Norbert); 7. Noun phrase structure and movement: A cross-linguistic comparison of such/sadan/solch and so/sa/so (by Wood, Johanna L.); 8. A unified structure for Scandinavian DPs (by Lohrmann, Susanne); 9. A semantic approach to noun phrase structure and the definite - indefinite distinction in Germanic and Romance (by Stroh-Wollin, Ulla); 10. Definite determiners in two English-based creoles: Specificity or definiteness? (by Bobyleva, Ekaterina); 11. Part II. Change; 12. Form-function mismatches in (formally) definite English noun phrases: Towards a diachronic account (by Lucas, Christopher); 13. The emergence of the definite article in English: A contact-induced change? (by Crisma, Paola); 14. On the syntax of Romanian definite phrases: Changes in the patterns of definiteness checking (by Cornilescu, Alexandra); 15. Coexisting structures and competing functions in genitive word order (by Magni, Elisabetta); 16. Anaphoric adjectives becoming determiners: A corpus-based account (by Van de Velde, Freek); 17. From N to D: Charting the time course of the internal rise of French n-words (by Deprez, Viviane); 18. Index