• Irena M. Pantić Kosovo and Metohija Academy of Applied Studies, Peć, Leposavić




pronoun, pronominal, indefinite, equivalent, English language, Serbian language, compound


This study aims to analyse a contrastive relation between the English indefinite pronoun any and its Serbian equivalents. Beside the simple pronoun any, the study also focuses on how its compounds with other words – nouns (-body, -thing), numerals (-one) and interrogatives (-where) are performed and translated into Serbian. In this sense, the study is result-oriented. In order to reveal the equivalence relevance and equivalence distribution in practice, the analysis was based on a parallel corpus. The source text ʻThe Sense of an Endingʼ by J. Barnes was confronted with the corresponding target text in Serbian ʻOvo liči na krajʼ, to investigate the appropriate forms.

Although belonging to different language families, English and Serbian have shown a significant degree of similarities and differences among the elements in scope. Indefinite pronouns are a linguistic universal. Thus they occur systematically in both English and Serbian. Nevertheless, the Serbian pronominal equivalents are not categorised only as indefinites, but they also have a negative (niko, ništa, nikakav), free-choice (neko, nešto, neki) and universal functions26 (svako, bilo koji, bilo kakav). There is rarely any reciprocity in a direct Serbian implication for each English pronoun – an English indefinite pronoun usually has numerous Serbian equivalents. The proportion of the pronominal and non-pronominal (adverbs, particles, prepositional phrases, etc) Serbian equivalents is 2:1. Zero equivalence has appeared to be unexpectedly frequent – predominantly in negative and interrogative contexts. But even when the indefinites are not explicitly translated, due to stylistic and pragmatic differences between the two languages, there is equivalence at a syntactic level. The analysis revealed various equivalents, but they can be roughly brought down to the following: any is mostly omitted in Serbian negatives, and interrogatives, and translated as svaki in affirmatives; anything is translated as ništa in negatives, išta in interroatives and nešto in affirmatives; anyone is translated as niko in negatives, and iko in affirmatives; anybody is translated as bilo ko in affirmatives; anyway is translated as bilo kako bilo in affirmatives; anywhere is translated as ikud in negatives. Such an asymmetry of equivalence shows that there is not obvious and apparent compatibility between English and Serbian indefinite pronouns.

The aim of this paper has therefore been to offer a better understanding of the various forms among the corresponding English and Serbian indefinite pronominals, in terms of their practical relevance.


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How to Cite

Pantić, I. M. . (2023). ENGLISH INDEFINITE PRONOUN ANY AND ITS SERBIAN TRANSLATION EQUIVALENTS. PHILOLOGIST – Journal of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies, 14(27), 252–274. https://doi.org/10.21618/fil2327252p