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Slavic Grammar from a Formal Perspective

The 10th Anniversary FDSL Conference, Leipzig 2013


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

The proceedings of the 10th 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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Pseudoclefts in Serbian


← 216 | 217 →Jutta M. Hartmann & Nataša Milićević

University of Tübingen / University of Novi Sad

In this paper, we analyze Serbian specificational pseudoclefts (=SPCs) of the type To što Marija voli je Hari Potter ‘What Mary loves is Harry Potter’. We argue that Serbian pseudoclefts should be analyzed as inverted structures, just as specificational copula clauses (=SCCs) in general (following Williams 1983; Heggie 1988; Heycock 1994; Mikkelsen 2005; den Dikken 2006). We take the pivot (Hari Potter above) to be the underlying subject of a syntactic predication configuration (PrP in the sense of Bowers 1993, 2001). The cleft wh-clause (To što Marija voli above) is the complement of Pr0 inverted to a left-peripheral position. We show that the connectivity effects in SPCs are only partially present in Serbian, which speaks against the so-called question-plus-deletion analyses (=QPD). The data we discuss support a semantic approach to connectivity effects in SPCs (see Jacobson 1995; Sharvit 1999), that can take into consideration language specific licensing principles.

Pseudoclefts are a class of copular clauses where at least one constituent is sentential, i.e. a wh-clause/type of (free) relative clause (=cleft-RC). Pseudoclefts fall into two classes (Akmajian 1970, 1979) – predicational (=PPC) and specificational (=SPC), see (1) from Higgins (1979).1


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