Word Order in Slovene Dialectal Discourse
Zuljan Kumar, Danila
Scholarly/refereed, publisher version
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There has been little discussion of word order in Slovene to date, even though the first extensive study of clitics and their position in a sentence in Slovene by Matija Murko was published already in 1891–1892. The majority of articles in Slovenian linguistics on word order in the past were based on an analysis of word order in literary texts. Only in the past fifteen years have there been discussions of word order in spoken discourse. This paper discusses on the differences in fixed word order between Slovene dialectal discourse and Standard Slovene written discourse and word order characteristics of the Slovenian dialectal discourse focusing on only selected sentence elements that are subject to fixed word order rules. The analysis of texts from all Slovene dialect groups has shown that three groups of word order features can be distinguished in a study of word order in Slovene dialectal discourse. The first group of features, such as, for example, the initial position of clitics in an utterance, is characteristic of texts from all dialect groups, and is therefore a general word order feature of Slovene dialectal discourse. The second group includes word order characteristics that are found only in the texts of certain dialect groups, for example the separated position of the particle ne and the verb in Littoral dialects and the position of the past participle of the verb biti ‘to be’ at the end of the utterance in Pannonian dialects; these characteristics can be considered as specific features of particular Slovene dialectal discourses. The third group of characteristics is made up of those that can be found in all texts but nevertheless differ in the frequency of their use, for example, the position of the adjective premodifier in agreement with the noun and noun/ prepositional phrase modifiers in a noun phrase as well as the position of the verb (past participle or infinitive) at the end of the utterance. The frequency of use in these cases is the criterion that shows whether the word order characteristic is well established and can thus be understood as an established word order variant in the dialect or rather a dialectal word order rule, or is sporadic and as such the result of a basic pattern in spoken language, i.e. short planning time, which does not allow for the deliberate structuring of utterances.
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