Složeni veznik 'tim više što' (The Compound Conjunction 'tim više što')

Naš jezik (ISSN 0027-8084) 33 (1999), 1-2; 5-14

10 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2019

Date Written: July 1, 1999


Serbo-Croatian Abstract: U ovom radu govori se o jednoj temi koju su dosljedno ispuštali iz vida autori domaćih gramatika i rječnika: o sintaktičkim i semantičkim svojstvima složenih vezničkih izraza "tim više što, tim prije što, utoliko više što, utoliko prije što". Zavisne rečenice uvedene pomoću tih izraza predstavljaju poseban tip uzročnih rečenica. U radu se uspoređuju navedeni veznički izrazi u poljskom, ruskom, češkom, njemačkom i srpskohrvatskom jeziku.

English Abstract: This paper examines the syntactic and semantic peculiarities of the composite conjunctions "tim više što, tim prije što, utoliko više što, utoliko prije što, to više što" in Serbo-Croatian, which correspond to the German conjunctions "um so mehr als, um so weniger als" (English: ‘all the more because, all the less because’). These conjunctions introduce a particular type of causal clause. First of all, the composition of these conjunctions in Serbo-Croatian, Russian, Czech, Polish and German are compared. A common feature of these conjunctions is found to be their occurrence as consisting of three components: the first component is phoric (in several Slavic languages this is the instrumental of the demonstrative pronoun; in German it is "um so"); the second component is a comparative and the third is a conjunction. There is a difference between the Slavic languages and German regarding the second component. Whereas German possesses two complementary comparatives ("mehr/weniger") in the composition of the conjunction, the Slavic languages do not have this feature of complementarity: the positive version of the comparative is also used in such situations for which German has to use the negative. One explanation of this is that the gradation expressed in German through the comparative refers to a part of the superordinate clause, whereas in the Slavic languages it refers to the content of the entire superordinate clause (for reasons of emphasis). In this way, the content of the superordinate clause can be emphasised as a whole by way of the same comparative form, regardless of whether the superordinate clause is affirmative or negative (the difference between affirmative and negative in German is the cause of the complementary usage of "mehr" and "weniger"). A further feature of this conjunction is the mobility of its components in the Slavic languages and in German. The difference between sentences with separated and those with non-separated conjunctional components is described as the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive clauses. It is suggested that only the version with non-separated components be regarded as a real conjunction. Subsequently, an apparently larger variability within the composition of conjunctions in Serbo-Croatian is discussed in comparison with German, Russian, Polish and Czech.

Note: Downloadable document is in Serbo-Croatian.

Keywords: syntax, semantics, subordinate clauses, causal clauses, compound conjunctions, gradation, comparative, Czech, Russian, Polish, German, Croatian, Serbo-Croatian

Suggested Citation

Kordić, Snježana, Složeni veznik 'tim više što' (The Compound Conjunction 'tim više što') (July 1, 1999). Naš jezik (ISSN 0027-8084) 33 (1999), 1-2; 5-14. Available at SSRN:

Snježana Kordić (Contact Author)

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