Studi Slavistici XII • 2015
Articoli

Genitive-Dative Syncretism in the History of the Bulgarian Language. Towards an Analysis

Published February 12, 2016
How to Cite
Krapova, I., & Dimitrova, T. (2016). Genitive-Dative Syncretism in the History of the Bulgarian Language. Towards an Analysis. Studi Slavistici, 12, 181-208. https://doi.org/10.13128/Studi_Slavis-17976

Abstract

In this article, we trace the diachronic phases of so-called genitive-dative syncretism in Old Bulgarian, a phenomenon which marks the beginning of the process of disintegration of the Case system in the history of Bulgarian. We base our research on a corpus study (comprising the texts of Codex Marianus, Codex Zographensis and Codex Suprasliensis) and we show, after a careful examination of the available syntactic positions for the Genitive and the Dative, that the main reason for the Dative shift in Old Bulgarian was the so-called External Possessive construction (also known as dativus sympatheticus) which allowed the dative to be interpreted outside the noun phrase but with reference to an inalienable possessive element inside the noun phrase. We discuss each stage of the functional reanalysis leading to the establishment of noun phrase internal dative possessives, and in particular the role of the emerging clitic pronouns and their second position syntactic behaviour as a main trigger of genitive-dative syncretism.

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