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2006 | 41 | 205-215

Article title

Pronouns of 'njezin' and 'njen' - a norm and a custom of the contemporary Croatian language


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The first part of the article discusses principles of using the Croatian pronouns of 'njezin' and 'njen' (her) that so far have been set by the authors of books of Croatian grammar and other 'How to speak and write correctly' - type publications. Recommendation for lexical form of the pronouns (njezin vs. njen) have been considered, also the declension type (inflection of nouns vs. inflection of adjectives and /or pronouns) and the rules for usage of .flexion endings' development of those pronouns in the inflection of adjectives and/or pronouns (for example Gen. sg m, n '-og' vs. '-oga'). The first part of the article ends with a discussion of normativistic stand vs. variants of the endings used in Dat. and Loc. sg m and n ( '-u' vs.' -e'). Individual issues have been compared to the rules of the Serbian normativists. In the second part of the article, the normative rules have been put to test by the study of the material. The source of the material are the press texts which had been put into the electronic corpus of the Croatian language. The analysis proved the tight relation exists between lexical form of the pronoun as is used in a number of texts on the one hand, and its inflectional forms on the other. It has been revealed that the structures of type 'njezina brata' (her brother'), based on the form 'njezin' and declension according to the noun paradigm, which so far have been considered to be typically Croatian structures, are predominantly used in writings of a national(istic) character, while the structures common with the Serbian norm of the type of 'njenog brata' (basing on the form of 'njen', that are inflected in line with the adjectival-pronoun paradigm, without developed of the inflectional ending) are overwhelmingly present in periodicals that may be described as liberal. The phenomenon proves unequivocally that the Croatian linguistic norm has been ideologised.






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  • J. Molas, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Slawistyki Zachodniej i Poludniowej, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland


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