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Functions of the dati (se) + infinitive construction in Croatian from a grammaticalization perspective

Orsolya Žagar Szentesi orcid id ; Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 224 Kb

str. 295-318

preuzimanja: 1.627



The dati ’give’ (se) (refl.) + infinitive construction in Croatian has several distinct meanings/
functions: general possibility (e.g. Mobitel se vi{e ne da popraviti; lit. Mobile refl. more give.
PRS.3SG repair.INF; ’The mobile phone can no longer be repaired’), various types of concession
(Ivan se te{ko dao nagovoriti da ode lije~niku; lit. Ivan refl. difficult give.PTCP.SG.M persuade.INF
that go.PRS.3SG doctor; ’It was difficult to convince Ivan to go to see the doctor’; Sestra nam
nije dala u}i u sobu; lit. Nurse us not:be give.PTCP.SG.F enter.INF in room; ’The nurse did not
let us enter the room’), the subject’s readiness/willingness (to do something) (Kako ti se dalo
tako rano ustati?; lit. How you.DAT refl. give PTCP.SG.N so early get up.INF; ’How come you were
willing to get up so early?’), and the subject acting indirectly through an agent (causative) (Dali
smo oprati tepih, sami nismo mogli; lit. Give.PTCP.PL be wash.INF carpet, alone not:be could; ’We
had the carpet washed, we couldn’t do it ourselves’). This paper describes the development of
these related functions from the point of view of grammaticalization: a process whereby lexical
elements in a particular linguistic context become grammatical, which may be accompanied by
certain changes in their form. The semantic shifts evident from the change in the function of
the dati + infinitive construction may be characterized as the first stage of grammaticalization,
because they exhibit some schematization: the meaning of the verb dati shifts from a more
concrete to a more abstract one.
In three of the functions mentioned above (general possibility, concession, volition/willingness)
the meaning of the verb dati shifts towards modality, signifying a minor reduction in the verb’s
lexical autonomy. In contrast, when dati is used as a causative, the level of schematization is
greater, and the meaning is almost completely grammaticalized (referring only to voice), in which
case dati undergoes almost complete bleaching.
Several key grammatical and functional characteristics of the dati (se) + infinitive construction
are identified, and the relevant syntactic elements of each function are analyzed, including the
relationship between the syntactic and logical subject, the meaning of the expression in relation
to voice, the identity of the subject argument of the verb dati and the infinitive, possiblemodifying constructions and possible transformations (using da + the present tense rather than
the infinitive). The paper also deals with the differences in the productivity of the construction
in its various functions, as well as some small areas of overlap between particular functions
within the construction in question.

Ključne riječi

modal verbs, infinitive, Croatian language, grammaticalization

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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