Home > Catalogue > Balcania et Slavia > 1 | 2 | 2021 > Towards the Definition of the Bulgarian Word Order System
« previous article | next article »

Towards the Definition of the Bulgarian Word Order System

Anton Zimmerling    Pushkin State Russian Language Institute; Institute of Linguistics Russian Academy of Science, Russia    



The world’s languages with clitic clusters pattern with four major types of the word order systems, depending on the presence or absence of the 2P condition and the parameter of clitic-verb adjacency. Bulgarian has a double-focus system of clitic placement (2P condition and clitic-verb adjacency), which has typological parallels outside Europe but lacks direct counterparts in modern European languages. Neither the analogy with standard 2P languages without clitic-verb adjacency nor the analogy with the Romance systems with vP-internal clitics captures the profile of the Bulgarian clitic syntax. Historically, the rise of the clitic-verb adjacency is an innovation of Bulgarian, but its exact time and triggers are unclear. The language of the Wallachian letters (ca. 1386-1509) has a marked tendency towards the clitic-verb adjacency and is typologically similar to Modern Bulgarian but still has residual #XP – CL – [Y] – V orders. This idiom spoken by the L2 speakers of Middle Bulgarian cannot be viewed as a source of the Modern Bulgarian but hints that the clitic-verb adjacency parameter could develop in the history of Bulgarian because of the contact influence on the part of some Non-Slavic clitic systems.

Feb. 15, 2022
Dec. 22, 2021
Oct. 13, 2021

Keywords: ProsodySyntaxWord orderClitic clustersCliticsTypologyBulgarian

Copyright: © 2021 Anton Zimmerling. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.