Bosnian (BCS): Koja ti se jela sviđaju? (word order)

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by musicalchef, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. musicalchef

    musicalchef Senior Member

    English; USA
    This question is also in my book: Koja ti se jela sviđaju?

    I understand that the clitics are supposed to come second place in the sentence, but my question is whether the noun phrase has to be split in this way or not. Can the entire noun phrase be taken as one unit (and be first place in the sentence together), and can one say "koja jela ti se sviđaju?" If so, which way is more common? What if the noun phrase had more than two words (eg. "koja slatka jela")? Would that phrase need to be split, and if so, where?

    Hvala lijepo!
  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Yes, "koja jela ti se sviđaju?" is OK. To me, it sounds more natural than your book version (a bit stilted to me), but that's just a nuance.

    But I fail to see the noun phrase here? "Slatka jela" would be a noun phrase, and you couldn't split it. You mean "koja jela"?
  3. musicalchef

    musicalchef Senior Member

    English; USA
    I was wondering about if the noun phrase was more than 2 words. Wouldn`t "koja slatka jela" be "which sweet dishes?"

    But I guess if it is more common to keep a two-word noun phrase together, it would be the same for a longer one.
  4. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    "Koja" is not a part of a noun phrase in sentences like this one.

    However, there are cases where a noun phrase can be split by clitic pronouns, even though this is relatively rare. Here is an example sentence from a story by the Croatian writer K.Š. Gjalski:

    U taj mu se tren pričini da čuje dolje kod potoka kako netko granje razmiče i spušta se prema vodi.

    This is equivalent to saying "U taj tren mu se pričini...". As you can see, the noun phrase taj tren is split by the clitic pronouns.

    Sometimes you'll hear such phrases in everyday language too. For example, you'll hear people say "ova mi se haljina sviđa", although "ova haljina mi se sviđa" would be more common.

    The issues with the syntax of clitic pronouns in BCS are extremely complicated, so unless you're at a very advanced level, you should probably avoid syntactically tricky constructions like this one. It's important that you know about them, though, because you'll run into them from time to time.

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