Bulgarian 101

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Colloquial Bulgarian employs clitic doubling, mostly for emphatic purposes. For example:

    Аз го дадох подаръка на майка ми
(lit. "I gave it the present to my mother")

    Аз й го дадох подаръка на майка ми
(lit. "I gave her it the present to my mother")

The phenomenon is practically obligatory in the case of inversion signalling information structure:

    Подаръка (й) го дадох на майка ми
(lit. "The present (to her) it I-gave to my mother")

    На майка ми й (го) дадох подаръка
(lit. "To my mother to her (it) I-gave the present").

It is also obligatory in clauses including several special expressions that use the short accusative and dative pronouns, like играе ми се (I feel like playing), студено ми е (I am cold), боли ме ръката (my arm hurts):

    На мен ми се спи, а на Иван му се играе.
На нас ни е студено, а на вас ви е топло.
Иван го боли гърлото, а мене ме боли главата.

Except the above examples, clitic doubling is considered inappropriate in a formal context. Bulgarian grammars usually do not treat this phenomenon extensively.

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