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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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Diachronic changes in tense marking and cliticization patterns in Slavic


← 330 | 331 →Krzysztof Migdalski

University of Wrocław

This paper investigates diachronic changes in the position and structural properties of pronominal clitics in Slavic. In older variants of Slavic (Old Church Slavonic, Old Serbian, etc.), pronominal clitics were verb-adjacent. In the later stages of some Slavic languages, they shifted to the second position (Czech, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene) or were degrammaticalized into weak pronouns (Old Polish). The process was contemporaneous with the loss of morphological tense marking and occurred only in those languages that have lost simple tenses (aorist and imperfect). The decline of tense distinctions is analyzed as the loss of the TP projection, as a result of which pronominal clitics could not adjoin to T0 any more. This paper has the following organization. Section 2 summarizes the system of tense marking in Slavic, showing that morphological tense distinctions are currently preserved only in Bulgarian and Macedonian. Section 3 demonstrates that the (non-)presence of tense marking corresponds to cliticization patterns that are available in respective Slavic languages. Section 4 describes the shift from verb-adjacent into second position clitics in Serbian, while section 5 presents a syntactic analysis of this process. Section 6 concludes the paper by presenting an alternative result of the loss of morphological tense: the reinterpretation of pronominal clitics as weak pronouns, which occurred in Old Polish and is also taking place in some contexts in Macedonian.

In contemporary Slavic, unambiguous tense morphology exists only in Bulgarian and Macedonian, which use simple...

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