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Subjunctive in Serbian/Croatian

Type of publication Not peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (non peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2011
Author Socanac Tomislav,
Project Une étude comparative des propriétés syntaxiques du subjonctif
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Original article (non peer-reviewed)

Journal Generative Grammar in Geneva
Volume (Issue) 7
Page(s) 49 - 71
Title of proceedings Generative Grammar in Geneva

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


My paper deals with the subjunctive mood in Serbian/Croatian (SC), with a particular focus on the area subjunctive complementation, i.e. contexts where subjunctive is selected in the embedded complement of the matrix predicate. I deal with the issues related to the syntactic realization and distribution of these complements in SC. First I show that SC realizes subjunctive complements in the same way as other Balkan languages. Unlike Romance languages, which mark subjunctive on the verb, Balkan languages mark it by using mood particles, which are separate from the verb and which appear on the left periphery of the subjunctive clause. I demonstrate that SC contains the same type of mood particle and then study the influence of this element on the syntax of subjunctive complements in SC. Once I have studied the derivation of this type of complements in SC, I focus on their distribution. The problem that one is faced with is this context is that SC, like most other Balkan languages, appears to exhibit very wide subjunctive distribution due to the fact that its infinitive was partially lost and replaced with finite control complements that overtly resemble subjunctives. Nevertheless, I argue, using semantic and syntactic type of evidence, that the latter type of complements should not be considered as true subjunctives and that subjunctive distribution in SC (and possibly other Balkan languages as well) is not wider than the one observed, for instance, in Romance languages.