Colorado Research in Linguistics

Document Type

Working Paper


In this paper I address the function of the complementizer da in Croatian. Craig (1975), Frajzyngier (1995), Frajzyngier (1996), Vrzic (1996), and Krapova (1999) have contributed much literature about this particular complementizer. However, such studies focused on the analysis of the syntactic properties of da, that is, the structure of sentences in which this complementizer occurs. Using the principle of functional transparency and independent coding means, introduced by Frajzyngier and Shay (M.S.), as the point of departure, the goal of the present study is to uncover the function of this complementizer and what it is the coding means of. Drawing on older publications, an ample selection of sentences from the online National Data Corpus of the Croatian Language (NDC), and further elicited examples (NSE) and judgments from native speakers of Croatian (NSJ), I will show that da is an independent coding means and that its semantic function is to code modality. In particular, I will reveal that da is a coding means of potentially realizable habitual events, and that as such it belongs to the de dicto domain.

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