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Slavic Grammar from a Formal Perspective

The 10th Anniversary FDSL Conference, Leipzig 2013


Edited By Gerhild Zybatow, Petr Biskup, Marcel Guhl, Claudia Hurtig, Olav Mueller-Reichau and Maria Yastrebova

The proceedings of the 10 th European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages in Leipzig 2013 offer current formal investigations into Slavic morphology, phonology, semantics, syntax and information structure. In addition to papers of the main conference, the volume presents those of two special workshops: «Formal Perspectives and Diachronic Change in Slavic Languages» and «Various Aspects of Heritage Language». The following languages are addressed: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), Bulgarian, Czech, Macedonian, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Resian, Slovak and Slovene.
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Verbs and particles in minimal answers to yes-no questions in Czech


← 196 | 197 →Hana Gruet-Skrabalova

Clermont Université, LRL EA 999

Czech belongs to those languages1, in which a yes-no question can be minimally answered not only by answering particles ano (‘yes’) and ne (‘no’), but also by echoing the verb of the question, eventually by combining these two elements, see (1).2 When the answer is negative, the verb bears the negative prefix ne-.


Jsou rodiče doma? – Ano./ Jsou.// Ne./ Nejsou.

are.3pl parents home yes are.3pl no neg.are.3pl

‘Are the parents at home?’ ‘Yes (they are).’ ‘No (they are not).’

The verb in the answer must be finite and bear the same tense feature as the verb in the question, see (2). In the case of complex verbal forms with the auxiliary verb být (‘be’), past and conditional clitic auxiliaries cannot constitute felicitous answers. This follows if we assume that clitic auxiliaries only bear agreement features and the lexical participle the interpretable tense feature, as proposed by Veselovská (1995). Consequently, the participle may combine with negation and constitute a felicitous answer to polar questions in (3). The future forms of the auxiliary verb být are expected to appear in minimal answers for they bear both tense and agreement features and combine with negation, see (4)3.


Pozveš Marii na tu oslavu? –(Ne)pozvu. / *(Ne)pozval.

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