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The Indicative and Subjunctive da-complements in Serbian: A Syntactic-Semantic Approach


Nataša Todorović

This study analyzes the indicative and subjunctive da-complements in the Serbian language while comparing and contrasting them with similar finite constructions in other Slavic and Balkan languages. In complex structures, semantic properties of the matrix verb, homophonous da, and aspectual and tense properties of the embedded verb all contribute to interpretations of the morphologically unmarked subjunctive and indicative moods in the Serbian language. Merging Giannakidou’s theory of mood and veridicality with Progovac’s clausal structure, the author suggests that the choice of the indicative or subjunctive complement determines negation interpretation and implies that clitics in Serbian are not always restricted to the second position.
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1. Introduction


1.1 The Research Issue and Project Overview1

In this project I focus on the investigation of verbal complementation in Serbian. I particularly focus on and analyze da-complements which give rise to indicative interpretations as in (1) and subjunctive interpretations as in (2).

(1) Tvrdim     da pišem         pismo. claim-1sg. da write INP-1sg. letter I claim that I am writing the letter.

(2) Želim     da pišem           pismo. want-1sg. da write INP-1sg. letter I want to write a letter.

The constructions in (1) and (2) yield two different interpretations, yet they seem to employ the same da-complement. These two distinct interpretations (indicative and subjunctive) bring attention to two important questions: 1) What (syntactic, semantic, morphological) elements allow for the two different interpretations? and 2) What, if any, function da has in the formation (or interpretations) of the indicative and subjunctive moods?


(3) Imala                   bi       više enrgije da pojedeš       čokolade. have-fem. imperf. l-part. aux-2sg. more energy da eat-PNP-2sg. chocolate You would have more energy if you ate chocolate.

Future Tense

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