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This article sheds light on postposed articles and DP structures in Torlak, a non-standardised Balkan Slavic variety. Torlak and specifically Trgoviste-Torlak, unlike Bulgarian and Macedonian, does not exhibit MD. We argue that this scenery is due to a partial grammaticalization of the determiner, which is arguably an inflectional affix and maintains the demonstrative feature. In addition, we verify the nature of the Torlak DP and we make some considerations on the intermediate nature of this element with respect to the grammaticalization path, followed by the other Balkan Slavic varieties.
Balcania et Slavia
Vol. 1 – Num. 1 – June 2021
Citation Živojinović, J.; Azzolina, B.; Girolami, V. (2021). “Postposed Articles
and DP Structures in Torlak. Balcania et Slavia, 1(1), 97-116.
DOI 10.30687/BES/0/2021/01/000
Peer review
Submitted 2021-07-20
Accepted 2021-10-15
Published 2020-12-20
Open access
©2021 | cb Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License
Postposed Articles
and DP Structures in Torlak
Jelena Živojinović
Universi tà degli Studi di Verona, Ita lia; UiT Norges arktis ke universitet, Tromsø
Beatrice Azzolina
Universi tà degli Studi di Verona, Ita lia
Veronica Girolami
Universi tà degli Studi di Verona, Ita lia
Abstract This art icle sheds light on post posed article s and DP structures in Torlak, a
non-st andardised Balkan Slavic variet y. Torlak and specifically Trgoviste -Torlak, unlike
Bulgarian and Macedonian, does not exhibit MD. We argue that this scenery is due to
a partial grammaticalization of the determiner, which is arguably an inflectional aix
and maintains t he demonstrati ve feature. In addition, we ve rify the nature of th e Torlak
DP and we make some considerations on the intermediate nature of this element with
respec t to the grammaticaliz ation path, followed by the other Balk an Slavic varieties.
Keywords Torlak. Balkan Slavic. Multiple determination. Articles. DP structure.
Summary 1 Int roduction. – 2 St ate of the Art. – 2 .1 Early Proposal s on the Balkan DP. –
2.2 Curre nt Assumptions on t he Structure of th e Balkan DP. – 3 Testing the Natur e of the
Enclitic Ar ticle. – 4 Looking for t he Torlak DP Laye r. – 5 Discuss ion and Further Rema rks.
– 5.1 Multiple Determination. – 5.2 Grammaticalization Hypothesis. – 6 Conclusion.
Balcania et Slavia
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1 Introduction
Torlak is a non-standard Old-Shtokavian Slavic variety spoken in the
southern or southeastern area of Serbia and in the bordering are-
as of Bulgaria and Macedonia (see fig. 1 below). It is also called the
Prizren-Timok dialect in the attempt to delimit its distribution with-
in the boundaries of Serbia. This variety has recently started get-
ting more attention from the scientic community, mainly dealing
with a variety of phenomena related to the central and north-east-
ern Timok area.1 So far, the literature has focused on the postposi-
tion of the article and on the use of pronominal clitics, claiming that
Torlak is a transitional area having both Balkan and non-Balkan fea-
tures. For instance, it has second-position clitics as Serbo-Croatian,
but makes consistent use of direct object clitic reduplication as Bul-
garian and Macedonian.2
When it comes to the use of articles, the Trgovište-Torlak varie-
ty presents an overt postposed t-type particle deriving from the de-
monstrative pronoun taj/ta/to ‘that’, for instance:
(1) a. Bulgarian
‘the child’
b. Albanian
rib ar-at
‘the fisherman’
c. Romanian
‘the woman’
The particle can also enclitisize to the (rst) adjective, for instance
in (2), whereas the presence of a demonstrative pronoun incorporates
the determiner as in (3).
1 Runić 2013 a; 2013b; Vuković, Samardžić 2015; Maka rova et al. 2020; Vukov2021,
among others.
 Cf. Runić 2014, 11-94 for an overview of the clitic system; Živojinović 2021 for a com
parat ive per spective on t he use of cl itics i n Torlak.
Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
Balcania et Slavia
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Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
ubavo-to malecko dete
beautiful. little child
‘beautiful little child ’
Ja gu čuvam kako golupče, u
Iher guard/raise.. as pigeon in
onuj buljinu što kuka cel
that owl that complain/cry.. entire
aona izraste
but she grow..
‘I raise he r like a pigeon (kindly), but she gr ew into that owl that cries all n ight’
The productivity and distribution of such particles seems to be con-
siderably subjected to diatopic variation. Indeed, the literature on
postposed articles and DP structures in the north-eastern and cen-
tral areas shows instead some inconsistencies; for example, Runić
(2014, 66) suggests that Torlak
is an article-less variety, whereas
Vuković and Samardžić (2015) present the distribution of the post-
posed overt article. However, the former study is based on a data col-
lection in urban areas, such as the central Niš and Leskovac area,
whereas the latter relies on eldwork data gathered in north-east-
ern isolated and urban areas of the Timok Valley. Indeed, Vukov
and Samardžić (2015) show that the postposed article4 is productive
in isolated rural areas (e.g. đubre-to ‘the garbage’) that are less in-
uenced by the Serbo-Croatian superstratum.
Our research presents a contribution in the study of the postposed
articles and DP structures by providing novel data from the south-
ern sub-variety of Trgovište, which borders Macedonia and Bulgaria
(see the indication in fig. 1). The data was collected in the rural are-
as of Trgovište through the recordings of natural speech of 8 partic-
ipants whose age range is 70-90.
3 PTS (Prizren-Timok Serbian) in Runić’s terms (2 014).
Speci cal ly, Vukov ić and Sa m ardž ić (2015) argue t hat the Timok ar ea maintai ns all
three types of articles, namely the dist al t- a nd n- ty pes, deriving from demonstrative
pronouns taj, ta, to and onaj, ona, ono ‘that’ as in brat-at ‘the brother/that brot her’ and
vrata-na ‘the door/that door’ respectively, and the proximal v-type, as in baba-va ‘t he
grandmot her/thi s grandmother’.
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Figure 1 The overall d istribut ion of Torlak
This investigation is an additional puzzle piece to Stanković (2013)
who scrutinises three Torlak isoglosses
along with Macedonian
in terms of Bošković’s generalisations (2008), showing that DP/NP
partition is not a sustainable description for these varieties. What
5 Stankov ić (2013) relies on the partition of Torlak varieties provided by Ivić
(1994), who distinguishes the following isoglosses: Kosovsko-Resavski, Prizrensko-
Južnomoravski, Svrljiško-Zaplanjski and Timočko-Lužnički. Trgovište -Torlak is located
within Prizrensko -južnomoravski, an article-less variety (cf. Ivić 1994).
ALL and LWA indicate article-less languages and languages with articles respec-
tively. Trgovište-Torlak is located within Prizrensko-južnomoravski (PJ).
Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
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Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
Stankov(2013), who assumes that the southern Torlak isogloss is
an article-less variety, proposes is rather a phonologically null vs.
saturated DP structure on the basis of a set of structural and lexical
properties which the isoglosses may or may not share.
In this article we will address the postposition of articles by test-
ing the nature of the Torlak enclitics and we delineate its domain by
framing Trgovište-Torlak within the Balkan Slavic context. Paragraph
2 of this article illustrates the existing proposals on the Balkan DP
structure, which mainly focus on Bulgarian and Macedonian data.
Paragraph 3 tests the nature of the Torlak article-like particles fol-
lowing Halpern (1992), whereas paragraph 4 provides further clues
on the Torlak DP layer. Finally, paragraph 5 presents a brief compar-
ative analysis with respect to the multiple determination phenome-
non as opposed to Bulgarian and Macedonian and provides a note on
the development of the Torlak article.
2 State of the Art
The issue surrounding the structure of postposed article has been a
central topic in the generative literature.6 Accordingly, several pro-
posals were put forward in order to explain the structure of the DP
in the Balkan languages.
In the following paragraphs, we will revise some of the most inu-
ential assumptions regarding the DP in Balkan Slavic essentially re-
ferring to Balkan Slavic languages, i.e. Bulgarian and Macedonian,
to provide an appropriate starting point for the analysis of our Tor-
lak data. In addition, some considerations on the nature of the post-
posed article will follow. As such, we will mostly build on Halpern
(1992) and Franks (2001) to shed light on the aixal properties of the
postposed article found in Trgovište-Torlak.
2.1 Early Proposals on the Balkan DP
The extensive bulk of literature on postposed articles has established
a clear relationship between the presence of this aixal-like marker
of deniteness in languages like Romanian, Albanian, Bulgarian and
Macedonian to the Balkan Sprachbund, for instance:
6 Tomić 199 6; Dimitrova-Vulchanova, Giusti 1995; 1998; Fran ks 20 01; Rudin 2018a;
2018b for Balk an Slavic; Cornilescu 2016 for Romanian, among others.
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(4) a. Bulgarian
‘the book’
b. Albanian
‘the bed’
c. Romanian
‘the boy’
Nonetheless, the assumption on whether the postposed article can
be considered an actual inectional marker has been widely debated.
We will return to the aixal nature of the postposed article with spe-
cic reference to Torlak in paragraphs 3, 4 and 5. However, it seems
crucial to point out two major lines of research that consider post-
posed articles either as (i) proper clitics (Scatton 1980; Tomić 1996)
or (ii) inectional aixes (Halpern 1992; Franks 2001; Rudin 2018a;
2018c; Embick, Noyer 2001 among others).
Tom ić (1996), for instance, argues for a clitic-like nature of the ar-
ticle, which is to be found in a Wackernagel position within the DP.
She claims that the postposed article is generated on the D°, trigger-
ing the movement of the highest, leftmost head to SpecDP. The move-
ment of the noun, or whichever element follows the clitic, be it an ad-
jective, numeral, or possessive, is considered a type of transformation
applying from D-structure to S-structure in pure government and
binding terms. In other words, the article as a nominal clitic is gen-
erated in D° and triggers the movement of N to SpecDP, which ends
up in a spec-head relation with the article. However, even though
Tom ić (1996) assumes that nominal clitics, i.e. articles and posses-
sive clitics, are Wackernagel clitics, she also admits that they seem to
show some typical properties that are normally ascribed to aixes.7
For this reason, Dimotrova-Vulchanova and Giusti (1998) dis-
pensed with N-to-D movement,8 arguing that Bulgarian does not dis-
7 An anonymous reviewer also points out the fact that, if we were to follow the idea
that the article is merged in D, coordinated Ns would display the ar ticle only on the
rst noun contrary to fact.
8 See also Boškov2019 for a more det ailed expl anation to di sc a rd N-D rai sin g in af -
xal article languages.
Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
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Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
play any instance of movement of the noun to a higher position, as
opposed to the optional movement of N, which is found in both Alba-
nian and Romanian. This assumption allows the authors, on the one
hand, to rule out the movement of N to D in the narrow syntax and,
on the other hand, to rely on the movement of N to D at LF in order to
check deniteness [Def] features. Franks’ (2001) proposal goes along
these lines, assuming movement of the highest head below D at LF in-
cluding AP, which, following Abney’s (1987) account, domi nates NP.9
These two accounts, therefore, provide a solid basis to consider
the article in Balkan Slavic (and non-Balkan Slavic languages) a prop-
er aix, regardless of their assumptions related to movement oper-
ations taking place at LF.
2.2 Current Assumptions on the Structure of the Balkan DP
Abstracting away from the proposals that were analysed in § 2.1, we
now review Rudin’s (2018a; 2018b) assumptions as a starting point to
better capture the structure of the Torlak DP. For now, we will con-
sider the relationship between D° and X° as an agreement relation
for deniteness, bearing in mind the existence of dierent propos-
als (Koev 2011; Petroj 2020 among others) which argue for phi-fea-
tures and deniteness agreement.10
Considering the structure in (5), Rudin (2018a; 2018b) adopts an
Abney-type of structure in which the AP dominates the NP.
claims that D, being phonologically null, bears deniteness features
that enter in an agreement relation with the articled word, namely
the rst head below the DP.
In Dimitrova-Vulchanova, Giusti 1998, the AP moves entirely to SpecDP and it checks
[Def] features within t he AP projection.
In a slightly dierent way, Giusti (2015) argues for the absence of a [Def] fea-
ture, introducing a scattered head bundled wit h other features proper to the nomi-
nal group, which could explain the presence of the inectional ar ticle especially in the
case of Romanian.
11 An anonymous reviewer point s out that t he head status of adjectives in st ruc-
tures like (2) is challenged by the fact that it fails to describe cases like the followi ng:
[DP [AP glavna-t a po značenie] priči na] Bg. (Cinque 2010, 47)
Lit. ‘t he main in import ance reason’.
We acknowledge Cinque (2010) in as sert ing the phras al status of adjectives and their
adjunction to the NP. However, we believe th at, for the purposes of this paper, both ac-
counts, i.e. AP dominating NP or AP adjunction to NP, allow us to describe the behav-
iour of de nit ene ss ag r eem en t with re spe ct to post -po ste d artic les in thes e Balk an Sl av-
ic va riet ies. Rud in (2018a) also poi nt s out that, even by adop ting the per sp ec tive of ad-
junction, deniteness agreement still appears on the highest leftmost head, namely A.
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As it is shown above, the agreement relation between the adjective
and the [Def] feature allows us to explain the presence of the inec-
tional article on the highest head below D, in this case, AP. Follow-
ing the idea put forward in Rudin (2018a; 2018b), we could tr y to de-
scribe deniteness agreement through the operation Agree (Chomsky
2000; 2001) by adopting a bidirectional approach (see for instance
Baker 2008; Bjorkman, Zeijlstra 2019 among others).
As show in (6), the uninterpretable [Def] feature acts as a probe for
the interpretable [Def] feature on D; it therefore looks up, as an in-
stance of upward Agree, and checks its [uDef].12
According to these theoretical premises, in principle, it could be
possible to apply the structure in (6) to the Torlak DP. However, be-
fore turning to the analysis of the DP of this Balkan Slavic variety,
some considerations on postposed articles as inectional markers
for deniteness are needed.
Franks (2020) propo ses to consider this type of ag reement in terms of feature shar-
ing, where D assigns deniteness features to XP that, in turn, shares them with the head
X. As such , this acco unt cons ide rs de nit ene ss ag reeme nt as a mor e morph ologic a l pro -
cess th an the op eration Agre e and cr ucially as a more loca l relat ion.
Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
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Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
3 Testing the Nature of the Enclitic Article
In the previous subsections, we mainly argued for the presence of
an aixal-like postposed article specically for Bulgarian and Mac-
edonian. At this point of the analysis, it is necessary to understand
where Trgovište Torlak stands concerning the nature of the enclitic
particles and whether the assumptions that were put forward for Bul-
garian and Macedonian still hold for this Balkan Slavic variety. The
analysis covering our Torlak data is carried out below, after provid-
ing a quick review of the main phonological arguments to consider
postposed articles as actual suixes as outlined in Halpern (1992)
and subsequently applied to Bulgarian in Franks (2001).
Halpern (1992) proposes four “tests” to validate the hypothesis
that articles are actual suixes, i.e. nal-devoicing as shown in (7),
consonant-schwa metathesis as shown in (8), changes in the place-
ment of the stress as shown in (9) and the appearance of a special
form of the stem in the articled word as shown in (10).
(7) a. Bulgarian
bratovčed [bra tofčet]
‘cousin’ (Franks 2001)
b. Bulgarian
bratovčedât [bratofčedt]
‘the cous in’ (Franks 2001)
(8) a. Bulgarian
‘Greek’ (Fra nks 2001)
* The let ter â represents a s chwa.
b. Bulgarian
‘the Gre ek’ (Franks 2001)
(9) a. Macedonian
‘cousin’ (Tomić 1996, 531-2)
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b. Macedonian
‘the cous in’ (Tomić 1996, 531-2 )
(10) a. Bulgarian
interesen grad
interesting city
‘the interesting city’
b. Bulgarian
interesnijat grad
interesting. city
‘the interesting city’
These tests, carried out by Franks (2001), clearly show the aixal
nature of the post-posted article in Bulgarian ruling out their clitic-
like nature. Building on these assumptions, it is now crucial to un-
derstand whether the Torlak article displays any dierence with re-
spect to the neighbouring Slavic languages.
Firstly, nal devoicing is a systematic phenomenon in Trgovište-
Torlak, as in brod-brot ship’, grad-grat t o w n’, Glog-Glok,13 leb-lep
‘bread’. Devoicing is blocked by the addition of the suixal element
that forms CVC syllables, for instance grat ‘town’ vs. gradat ‘t he tow n’.
The second test determined by Halpern (1992) is more problem-
atic, as conrmed by Franks (2010, 111-13), who instead argues that
the metathesis is the result of a schwa epenthesis (see (4) above). On
this note, we do not identify relevant examples in our Trgovište-Torlak
corpus either related to (ii) or (iii). Nonetheless, it is worth noting
that 3+ syllable words containing a postposed t- particle bear the
stress on the antepenultimate syllable, as in trAktor-at ‘the tractor’.
The word length however plays a role, thereby allowing us to apply
Halpren’s fourth test, which broadly airms that the masculine form
of the article only attaches to long adjectival stems. This is clearly
visible in adjectives such as ubav ‘beautiful’, or nov ‘new’, which do
not allow forms such as *ubav-at muž or *nov-at stol, but require a
restructuring of the syllable arrangement in the adjective, obtaining
ubavijat muž ‘the beautiful husband’ or novijat stol ‘the new table’.
The application of the tests related to the nature of the enclitics
provides therefore a partial outcome. By claiming such results, we
intend that the t-particle may not be a fully functional suixal ele-
13 Glog is a village located in the area of Trgovište/ Vranje.
Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
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Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
ment, but it could be retaining some degree of lexical value, hence
the absence of the particle in examples containing a demonstrative
(cf. (3) illustrated above).
4 Looking for the Torlak DP Layer
Coming back to the analysis of the Balkan Slavic DP, it seems clear
that the assumptions that we put forward in § 2.2 may be challenged
by the behaviour of the Torlak article with respect to Halpern’s tests.
As we previously argued, these articles partially t the tests, show-
ing dierent outcomes compared to the Bulgarian and Macedoni-
an ones. Considering these results, it may be useful to go deeper in-
to the analysis of the Torlak DP, testing whether this understudied
variety ts Bošković’s (2008; 2012) diagnostics as an NP or DP lan-
guage. Tasseva-Kurktchieva and Dubinsky’s (2018) study already ap
plied some of Bošković’s (2012) 18 diagnostics on Bulgarian and their
results showed that this Balkan Slavic language falls in a category
that is neither the one of full DP nor a full NP language. Their propos-
al is that Bulgarian is, in fact, a weak DP language that projects the
DP layer only in the presence of the denite article. Following from
their results, we applied the same diagnostics, checking the behav-
iour of the structures listed in table 1, to Trgovište-Torlak in order
to nd out its status and the behaviour of the DP projection in this
understudied variety.
Table 1 Syntac tic contexts ba sed on Bošković 200 8
(i) Clitic doub ling
(ii) Le-branch extraction
(iii) Negatio n raising
(iv) Scrambling
(v) Presence of ma jority superla tive reading
(vi) Superi ority and Multiple W h-Fronting
(vii) Adnominal Genitives
(viii) Head-Internal Relati ves and Locality
Specically, clitic doubling and the related generalisations have been
widely di scussed in Živoji nović (2021), claiming that Trgovište-Torlak
stands in a compromise position showing overt postposed articles
and allowing clitic doubling, but having Wackernagel-type clitics (11).
On this matter, Bošković generalises that (i) second position clitic
systems are only found in NP languages, (ii) only languages with ar-
ticles may allow clitic doubling, (iii) there is no clitic doubling with
second-position clitics.
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Odamna ga upozna Milovana.
long_time_ago him.. met Milovan
‘I met Milovan a lo ng time ago’.
When it comes to left-branch extraction, Trgovište-Torlak does not al-
low such structures (12), following Bošković (2008) who airms that
only languages without articles may allow LBE.
*Maleckoto vido dete.
little. saw child
While Torlak does not allow scrambling, as predicted for languages
with articles, the Neg-raising test requires some further explanation.
Precisely, Bošković (2008) claims that the negation in a matrix clause
negates the content of a subordinate clause and in such contexts it
makes use of a licensed negative polarity item. However, Stankov
(2013) observes that languages without articles, such as Serbo-Croa-
tian, exhibit Neg-raising, but do not license an NPI with verbs such as
believe. This observation can be extended to Trgovište-Torlak as well.
Ivan ne veruje da Bog[k] postoji.
Ivan not believe that God exists
‘Ivan does n ot believe that God ex ists’. (Cf. Stanković 2013)
Trgovište-Torlak does not show the majority superlative reading un-
like varieties such as Slovenian (for instance, Največ ljudi pije pivo
‘Most people drink beer’). Similarly, it does not show strict superior-
ity eects to multiple wh- fronting, an expected feature of varieties
with articles (e.g. Koj koga vidi? / Koga koj vidi? lit. Who whom sees/
whom who sees). On the same line, our Torlak subvariety does not
provide examples of two adnominal genitives and only allows head-
external relatives.
Once again, the overall position of Trgovište-Torlak seems to be a
compromise one, partially tting Bošković’s (2008) generalisations and
presenting features belonging to article, but also article-less varieties.
Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
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Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
5 Discussion and Further Remarks
The discussion on denite articles in Torlak and the analysis of the
previous sections allows us to make some further remarks, speci-
cally concerning the comparison among Bulgarian, Macedonian, and
Torlak. An interesting phenomenon worth discussing, which interests
mostly Bulgarian and Macedonian, falls under the name of Multiple
Determination (MD). The presence (or absence) of MD provides us
with the opportunity to shed some light on the properties of the suf-
xal articles found in the three languages in question. The frame-
work that we adopt follows Rudin (2018c) with the addition of a nov-
el proposal aiming at explaining the anomalous behaviour of Torlak
compared to the other neighbouring varieties. Namely, we will call
into question the process of partial or total grammaticalization of
the article and its outcome in the dierent languages.
5.1 Multiple Determination
As anticipated, one of the phenomena that is worth analysing to better
understand the characteristics and peculiarities of the DP in Torlak
is Multiple Determination (MD). MD is dened as the presence, inside
the DP layer, of a double or multiple realisation of the DP in certain en-
vironments (Alexiadou 2014). There are dierent hypotheses that try
to explain the functioning of MD, two of the most relevant are (i) the
split DP-Hypothesis and (ii) the ‘distributed’ DP-Hypothesis. Accord-
ing to the rst one, the DP is divided into at least two layers that con-
tribute dierently to the meaning of the structure. This distinction is
between a part where deixis is encoded and another part where deter-
mination is: [DP1 Deixis [DP2 Determination]]. According to the oth-
er hypothesis, instead, the Det can realise several other non-D related
projections within the extended projection of the noun.
In the Balkan Slavic languages analysed, namely Bulgarian and
Macedonian, MD is characterised by the presence of a Demonstra-
tive and one or more denite article suixes (Rudin 2018c), like the
examples in (14) show:
a. Bulgarian
tija novi-te telefoni
these new.phones
‘these new phones’
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b. Macedonian
tie ubavi-te fustani
these pretty. dresses
‘these pretty. dresses’
According to Rudin (2018c), in Bulgarian and Macedonian MD is used
in colloquial speech and has a specic pragmatic reading that can be
judged either positively or negatively by the speakers. However, as it
will be demonstrated below, the situation concerning MD in Torlak is
dramatically dierent. In particular, any instance of MD is judged un-
grammatical by speakers of this language. Consider for instance (15).
(1 5) Tor lak
*ovoj ubavo-to dete
this beautiful. child
‘this beautiful . child’
Going back to the struct u ra l analysi s of the DP, we assu me that in case
of MD, the Dem is located higher up in the structure. Furthermore,
we hypothesise that in Bulgarian and Macedonian there is a split in
the DP and that the features that enter in an agreement relation are
those present in the D head while those belonging to the Dem are on-
ly deictic. As such, since the featural content of the two heads does
not interfere with one another, MD is allowed (a). In Torlak, instead,
there is no split in the DP between the features of the Dem and of the
D head and for this reason agreement is possible only from one head
at a time (b). The two structures in (16) are taken from Rudin (2018c).
Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
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Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
5.2 Grammaticalization Hypothesis
The peculiar characteristics of the DP in Torlak, which seems to be-
have dierently with respect to other Balkan Slavic languages like
Bulgarian and Macedonian, can be explained as caused by a process
of partial grammaticalization. The grammaticalization path that is
taken into consideration here is the one used to describe some Scan-
dinavian varieties too, for instance Nynorsk Norwegian, namely con-
tent item > grammatical word > clitic > inectional aix (Faarlund
2018, 618, the original theoretical framework from Hopper, Trau-
gott 2003). In the case of Macedonian and Bulgarian, the articles
seem to have undergone a full grammaticalization into purely func-
tional elements and for this reason they are able to occur with a de-
monstrative in a MD construction. In Torlak, instead, the grammat-
icalization of the Det is only partial resulting in an inectional aix
that maintains the demonstrative semantics. We argue that the pe-
culiarity of the situation in Torlak is that the Dem and the Det share
the features that are semantically encoding part of their meaning,
namely the demonstrative ones. This sharing is not allowed because
the two heads are not dierentiated enough due to the grammatical-
ization of the determiner, that is only partially undergone in Torlak.
This claim is also supported by the results of the tests carried out in
the previous sections, which conrm a compromise position of the
article.14 In the case of Bulgarian and Mace don ian, inst ead, the com-
plete process of grammaticalization renders the Det a purely func-
tional element that does not enter into competition with the Dem for
the semantic features encoding [+Dem] and hence the construction
An anonymous reviewer asks whether Torlak aixes encode deictic dierences
as the Macedonian article and the variety of Bulgarian spoken in the R hodope moun-
tains. As we previously argued, Trgovište-Torlak only displays a t-type of art icle; how-
ever, some other varieties of Torlak (cf. Vuković, Samardž 2015 for the T imok area)
may retain this disti nction.
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allows for MD. Being grammaticalization a gradual process, even in
Bulgarian and Macedonian it is possible to nd articles that have not
completely undergone semantic bleaching.
6 Conclusion
In this paper we attempted to provide a contribution to the study
of the Balkan Slavic postposed ar ticle by providing novel data from
an understudied non-standardised variety. The study highlights yet
again the transitional nature of Torlak that balances Balkan and non-
Balkan features. Indeed, Torlak and specically Trgovište-Torlak pre-
sent a postposed suixal article-like element, but they do not allow
the use of multiple determination. We argued that this behaviour with
respect to MD is explained by a lack of a split in the D features in Tor-
lak, which is instead present in the neighbouring Bulgarian and Mac-
edonian. To conclude the article, we noted that the peculiar behav-
iour of the DP in Torlak could be due to a partial grammaticalization.
 Accusative
 Clitic
CVC Consonant-vowel-consonant
 Determiner
DP Determiner phrase
LBE Le branch extract ion
NP Noun phrase
NPI Negative p olarity item
 Present
 Perfect
 Singular
XP X phrase
Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
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Jelena Živojinović, Beatrice Azzolina, Veronica Girolami
Postpo sed Article s and DP Structu res in Torlak
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Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society: General Session and Parasession on The Place of Morphology in a Grammar (1992), pp. 338-349