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

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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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5. Analysis Of Da-Complements: A Syntactic Approach

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5.1 Aspect and da

As observed in 4.2.1 and 4.2.2, restrictions on aspect in da-complements are dependent on the matrix verb. However, it was also noted that different da-complements (da+INP or da+PNP) scope over the matrix verbs and restrict the semantic interpretation of the matrix verb. It has been determined that, in addition to the meaning of the verb, the da-complement itself contributes to the interpretation of indicative vs. subjunctive; in particular, the selection of da+INP or da+PNP contributes to different interpretations. Therefore, it was concluded that modality is a by-product of the semantic properties of the matrix predicate and a da-complement. I further claim that da-complements can be constructed by either da [+indicative] or da [–indicative], both of which are associated with different functional projections. In this section, I offer syntactic proposals for da+INP and da+PNP and illustrate with what functional projections da [+indicative] and da [–indicative] are associated.

The examples shown in (1) were already discussed in Chapter Four but are repeated here to better illustrate the analysis of aspect provided in this section. Unlike the PNP, the INP can occur with both da [+indicative] and da [–indicative]: as established, da [+indicative] occurs with the INP after veridical indicative-selecting verbs while da [–indicative] occurs with the INP after subjunctive, and epistemic and factive verbs which can give rise to nonveridical interpretations. On the other hand, since the PNP cannot refer to now, and because it can only be interpreted within the nonveridical...

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