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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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2. Overview of the Literature


In section 2.1 I present an overview of the literature that discusses the issue of da-complementation in Serbian. In Section 2.2, I describe the syntactic and semantic approaches to the analysis of Greek particles/complementizers from which my analysis of da in Serbian stems. I conclude this chapter by reviewing the benefits of Progovac’s (2005) syntactic clausal structure proposed for Serbian, which I have adopted for the syntactic analysis of da-complements, discussed later in Chapter Five.

2.1 Different Approaches to the Analysis of da-complementation

Many scholars have analyzed da differently in complement constructions. Some have argued that da is strictly modal (in Croatian Grivičić 2004) while others (Gołąb 1964, Ivić 1970, 1972, 1973, Bibović 1971, Browne 1986, Progovac 1993, Vrzić 1996, Mišeska-Tomić 2003, Radišić 2006) supported the idea that there are two different da(s). Some claim that, although there are two different da(s), they both are complementizers (Browne 1986, Progovac 1993, Vrzić 1996), yet others claim that one da is a subordinator/complementizer while the second da is a particle (Gołąb 1964, Jakab 1999).

Of all the approaches to the analysis of da mentioned in this section, the one that perhaps provides the most exhaustive overview is found in Gołąb (1964). Starting with da+present, Gołąb (1964:6) mentions that not all da+present constructions in Serbo-Croatian should be treated “as dependent (subordinate) clauses comprising the conjunction da and indicative.” He points out that there are two...

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