Latvija pribaltička je europska država. [discontinuity]

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iezik

Senior Member
Slovenian
Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are full of discontinuities. I gathered few of them. I have few questions: are there other typical discontinuities? Can they always be converted to similar sentence without discontinuity? Is the general meaning of discontinuity the notion of emphasized, high language?

So, the word-by-word translation of the title sentence is "Latvia Baltic is European state." The title sentence is nearly equivalent to "Latvija je pribaltička europska država." "pribaltička" is an adjective that modifies a noun "država". So, in the title, modifying adjective is separated from the modified noun. Again, wikipedia article on Discontinuity_(linguistics) gives few examples.

The title sentence is simplified from Croatian wikipedia. And, some other states are also described with discontinuity and the others without discontinuity, e.g. "Finska je nordijska država u sjeveroistočnoj Europi." Looking at the opening sentences of description of states in these three languages, there isn't any particular order in selection of one or the other way.

So, this was a short introduction into discontinuity. Let's see few more examples. In the first group, adjectives (adj1) are separated from their nouns (noun1) in the form "adj1 verb.biti [adj]* noun1". They can be converted to "verb.biti adj1 [adj]* noun1":

Latvija pribaltička je europska država.
Sjedinjene Američke Države savezna je republika u Sjevernoj Americi.
Prvi su stanovnici Sjevernu Ameriku naselili prije 20.000 godina.
Kneževina Lihtenštajn malena je država u srednjoj Europi.
Španjolska suverena je europska država.



The second group is a bit different, noun (noun2) is separated from its qualifiers, this time not adjectives, "noun1 noun2 verb.biti noun2.qualifier" that can be converted to " noun1 verb.biti noun2 noun2.qualifier":

Kraljevina Belgija država je u zapadnoj Europi.
Slovačka država je Srednje Europe.


Thanks for reading thus far. The questions are at the top of the post, in the first paragraph.
 
  • Милан

    Senior Member
    Serbian (Србија)
    I'm Serbian so these sentences are just plain wrong in Serbian except Finska je nordijska država u s(j)everoistočnoj Evropi and Letonija je pribaltička evropska država.
     

    iezik

    Senior Member
    Slovenian
    I'm Serbian so these sentences are just plain wrong in Serbian except Finska je nordijska država u s(j)everoistočnoj Evropi and Letonija je pribaltička evropska država.
    Fine that you qualify such sentences as plain wrong, but Serbian writers use similar constructions. E.g. the description of Serbia in Serbian wikipedia reads today in full

    Србија, званично Република Србија, суверена је држава која се налази на раскрсници путева средње и југоисточне Европе у јужном делу Панонске низије и центру Балканског полуострва.

    what gives

    Srbija ... suverena je država koja ....
     

    alexl57

    Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    Србија, званично Република Србија, суверена је држава која .... :tick:
    Србија суверена је држава која... :cross: (sounds extremely unnatural to me - I agree with calling it 'plain wrong')
    Србија је суверена држава која... :tick:
     

    Zec

    Senior Member
    Croatian
    Hello,
    I concur that the sentences "Latvija pribaltička je europska država.", Španjolska suverena je europska država." and "Slovačka država je Srednje Europe." are just plan wrong. The fact that you found them on Wikipedia doesn't mean they're right, it means that the author of the article tried to follow the "high language" rules on the placement of enclitics, and failed...

    Written, standard Croatian and spoken, substandard Croatian*, differ in where they place enclitics. The rules of standard Croatian are laid out in detail here, with some incidental reference to substandard Croatian.

    *probably the same for Bosnian and Serbian

    Briefly, in standard Croatian, enclitics come after the first accented word in the sentence, e.g. Prvi su stanovnici Sjevernu Ameriku... (or, in special cases, after the first accented word in some of the sentence's smaller constituents, e.g. Kneževina Lihtenštajn malena je država...; as in this example, this is usually after the first word in the predicate (to use the traditional term); again as in this examples, this is usually done to avoid putting enclitics in the middle of a name). This necessarily leads to discontinuous phrases, except in very simple sentences like Sutra će padati kiša, and such sentences are not encountered very frequently.

    Now, in substandard Croatian, instead of coming after the first word in the sentence, enclitics come after the first phrase in the sentence; in that way the phrase remains continuous: Prvi stanovnici su Sjevernu Ameriku..., Kneževina Lihtenštajn je malena država... For many speakers of substandard Croatian, standard Croatian rules on the placement of enclitics are essentially foreign language and they don't follow them spontaneously. It is no wonder they sometimes make mistakes, even on Wikipedia...

    The weird sentences are a case of hypercorrection, using the special case of placing enclitics after the first accented word in the predicate where it shouldn't be used: Latvija, Španjolska and Slovačka are one-word names; there is no need to avoid breaking them into parts and no need to use the special case. They should be "Latvija je pribaltička europska država.", "Španjolska je suverena europska država." and "Slovačka je država Srednje Europe.".
     
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