BCS: Danijelu trebalo je neko vrijeme da shvati

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by sesperxes, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)
    Dear Foreros:

    in the Croatian translation of "The Dophin" by S. Bambaren, I've read this sentence: "Danijelu trebalo je neko vrijeme da shvati narav poklona kojeg je upravo primio".

    I've no problems with the meaning, but I've a doubt (perhaps it's an oddity): would the following changes have the same meaning and correcteness?

    a) "Danijel trebao je neko vrijeme/vreme..."? (BCS)
    b) "... vrijeme za shvatiti narav poklona...." (only in Croatian) along with "...vreme da shvati..." (in Serbian and maybe Croatian too?)
    c) "... vrijeme/vreme za shvatinje narava poklona..." (BCS)

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Um, who translated that sentence? Google? It contains at least two major errors:

    1. The word order must be Danijelu je trebalo... in every flavor of BCS
    2. The word narav means 'character, nature' (of a human or an animal); for things and concepts, we rather say priroda.

    On to the substance of the question. Usage of verb trebati is very complex and varies across BCS area, but let us focus on this case, when the complement is a noun phrase (rather than a clause).

    1) Trebati can be impersonal, with the agent in dative, as in this case, or can be personal, as you proposed (Danijel je trebao vrijeme...). The latter use is rather Croatian. I would say that the latter connotes with actively pursuing something (Danijel je trebao novac pa je počeo da radi.), but Croatian foreros would have a better sense for that. Impersonal construct suits your usage better: compare equivalent English sentence "It took some time for Daniel to realize..."

    2) Theoretically, prepositions should not go with infinitive: :cross:za shvatiti; that's a German intrusion. In practice, you will hear them in colloquial, particularly za: ask only for burek za pon(ij)eti, or you won't be understood :). However, even if you use za+infinitive, that denotes a permanent quality, not a transient state. I'd say that the only natural way to say it is that: ...je trebalo vrijeme da shvati. Da-constructs are not banned in Croatian (although such misconceptions exist), and they're about the only way to make a relative sentence: [Daniel needed] [time to understand].

    3) The gerund is a "grammatically correct" alternative to za+infinitive. However, it has the same connotation: a permanent quality, not a transient state.
  3. Arath Senior Member

    Is Danijelu je trebalo vrijeme really impersonal? Isn't vrijeme the subject of the sentence? How would you say Daniel needed love or Daniel needed his friends? Wouldn't it be Danijelu je trebala ljubav and Danijelu su trebali njegovi prijatelji?
  4. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)

    Preveo: Zvonko Tomić
    Lektura: Jasna Paunović
    Naklada i tisak: Izvori, Zagreb 2005

    It seems that Danijel Dupin, the main character of the tale, has its own point of view about word order: Danijelova tuga bila je očita / Danijel je znao da.../ i onda je Danijel čuo glas mora / Danijelu trebalo je neko vrijeme / Danijel se nije morao boriti../ Danijel nastavio je putovati / te je noći Danijel zaspao kako to čine sanjari / Danijel uhvatio je svoj prvi val / itd.
  5. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    You are correct; ljubav, prijatelji etc. are in nominative, and thus are nominal subjects of these sentences. My use of "impersonal" was a bit sloppy (although, I'd argue, they're impersonal on a logical level: compare the English equivalent).
    I see. Well, ho am I to argue against licencia poetica? :)
  6. itreius Senior Member

    I've marked the ungrammatical (at least to me) sentences because I wasn't sure if you were implying that all of them are incorrect/weird/uncommon.
  7. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)

    Many thanks!

    Sometimes I think that BCS really means "Bery" Complicated Scrabble...

    You say "Danijel nastavio je putovati :cross: ": without the subject, would it be OK?, For instance, "jučer nastavio je putovati" would be acceptable?
  8. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    :thumbsup: I agree with Itreius.
  9. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    No. It violates the "clitics second" rule (Wackernagel's Law). It's more a prosodic than grammatical rule (or, both are taken into account).

    Rather than elaborating, I'd recommend this paper:
    Serbo-Croatian Second Position Clitic Placement, Carson T. Schütze
    It is a scientific paper, but it's not (too) dense to read, and it has a bunch of nice examples.
  10. sesperxes

    sesperxes Senior Member

    Burgos (Spain)
    H v a l a !!

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