Original scientific article
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Contrasting a phenomenon at the syntax-discourse interface: Subject-verb inversion in English and in Macedonian

Liljana Mitkovska
E-mail: liljana55@yahoo.com
AUE-FON Univesrity, Skopje

Eleni Bužarovska
University of Ss Cyril and Methodius, Skopje

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This paper discusses the results of a contrastive analysis of subject-verb inversion (SVI) in English and Macedonian, a South Slavic language. We look at sentences, typically encoding thetic statements, in which the subject follows the verb. Both English and Macedonian belong to SVO languages, but unlike English, Macedonian word-order is considerably more flexible due to its rich inflectional morphology. Our main goal is to determine the scope of distribution of SVI in the two languages which will enable to discover the reasons for the distributional differences in the two languages. To achieve this, we compared the semantic, syntactic and discourse-pragmatic properties of the inverted structures in the examples collected from parallel fiction and academic texts. The sharp differences in the use of SVI between the two languages indicate that lexical and grammatical constraints severely restrict SVI in English, in contrast to Macedonian where it is governed by discourse principles.

presentational constructions, theticity, information structure, word order,
Article data in other languages: Croatian