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Verborum ordo mysterium: Word Order in Kašić’s Translation of the Bible

Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics
Publication Date
  • Povijesna Sintaksa
  • Red Riječi
  • Jezična Promjena
  • Vanjski Faktori
  • Jezični Kontakt
  • Jezična Politika
  • Rimokatolička Crkva
  • Bartol Kašić
  • Biblija
  • Historical Syntax
  • Word Order
  • Language Change
  • External Factors
  • Language Contact
  • Language Policy
  • The Roman Catholic Church
  • Bartol Kašić
  • The Bible


Given the fact that various external factors can influence a language and modify it at all levels, the influence of these factors on word order in Croatian will be discussed here. More precisely, this research will provide an analysis of how and to what extent external factors, especially contact with Latin and the language policy of the Roman Catholic Church, affected word order in Croatian (Štokavian) Bible translations. Since the word order of translated texts is the focus of this research, the various approaches to translating the Bible are explained within translation theory. The emphasis shall be on translations made under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church after the Council of Trent (1545–63), when translation and interpretation of the Bible had to be based on the Vulgate. The extent of borrowing from the syntax of the Vulgate in post- Trent Bible translations is evinced from the example of Kašić’s Bible translation (1625–36). Borrowing from Latin caused changes in Croatian syntax, and among these were also changes in word order. However, since many of them were inconsistent with existing syntactic structures and induced by changeable external factors, most were retained as stable features of the language only for as long as the external factors remained unchanged.

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