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The Agreement between Conjoined Subjects and Predicate: Croatian Church Slavonic Corpus Analysis

Ana Kovačević


The abundance of grammatical categories in Slavonic and their overlap are particularly evident in the agreement between conjoined subjects and predicate. When they are accompanied by agreement conditions, such as word order and animacy in Slavic languages, different agreement patterns, dependent also on concrete context and speaker, are to be expected. In this paper the study of the agreement between conjoined subjects and predicate is based on an analysis of the medieval Glagolitic Croatian Church Slavonic corpus. Number, gender, and person are grammatical categories, i. e., features of conjoined noun phrases and predicate agreement. The analysis includes noun phrases conjoined by coordinating and some non-coordinating conjunctions as well as noun phrases conjoined by a gradational ‛not only [. . .] but also’ structure. Comitative and reciprocal noun phrases are included as well. The research in the given corpus shows that the conjoined noun phrases with predicate agreement can be syntactic (predicate showing agreement with one conjunct) or semantic (predicate showing agreement with all conjuncts). Syntactic agreement appears as the so-called contact agreement (predicate showing agreement with the closest conjunct) and as distant agreement (predicate showing agreement with the most distant conjunct). Semantic agreement is applied mostly in accordance with G. G. Corbett’s resolution rules for Slavic languages. However, the analysis shows that some resolution rules for number should be revised due to dual number. Although absent from the majority of contemporary Slavic languages, it is precisely in historical Slavic idioms that dual number reveals its identity, highlighted in agreement study as well.


conjoined noun phrases; predicate; agreement; Croatian Church Slavonic; resolution rules

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