Volitional Mood in South Slavic with a Focus on Bulgarian

A Paradigmatic View


  • Gergana Popova Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
  • Andrew Spencer University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom




Bulgarian, Slavic, volitional mood, periphrasis


In this paper, we survey some of the inflected and periphrastic volitional mood paradigms in South Slavic with a focus on Bulgarian data. Our review confirms typological observations in the literature that volitional mood paradigms tend to ‘fracture’, in that the cross-categorisation with different person/number features leads to systematic associations with different meanings and, typologically, frequent associations with different forms. This makes it difficult to argue that non-existent inflected forms are gaps in the inflected paradigm. Because of this periphrastic volitional mood forms that exist alongside inflected forms have to be seen as independent (syntactic) paradigms, rather than forms that fill missing cells in inflected paradigms, i.e. the product of feature intersection. Like more canonical periphrases, however, syntactic volitional mood forms are non-compositional and exhibit an organisation akin to the content-form paradigm organisation of inflected paradigms developed in certain inferential-realizational approaches to morphology. Following some recent formalisations, we suggest a tentative analysis of the most productive periphrastic volitional mood forms in Bulgarian based on the assumption that their properties are constrained partially by the morphology and partially in the syntax.


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How to Cite

Popova, G., & Spencer, A. (2020). Volitional Mood in South Slavic with a Focus on Bulgarian: A Paradigmatic View. Linguistica, 60(1), 61–81. https://doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.60.1.61-81