Clitics: An Introduction by Andrew Spencer

By Andrew Spencer

In so much languages we discover 'little phrases' which resemble a whole be aware, yet which can't stand on their lonesome. as an alternative they must 'lean on' a neighbouring notice, just like the 'd, 've and unstressed 'em of Kim'd've helped'em ('Kim could have helped them'). those are clitics, and they're present in lots of the world's languages. In English the clitic types look within the similar position within the sentence that the complete kind of the note would seem in yet in lots of languages clitics obey fairly separate ideas of placement. This publication is the 1st creation to clitics, delivering a whole precis in their homes, their makes use of, the explanations why they're of curiosity to linguists and a few of the theoretical methods which have been proposed for them. The e-book describes a complete host of clitic structures and offers facts from over a hundred languages.

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However, in English and Greek the particles are stressed and so look more like function words than clitics (though how they are to be represented in the syntactic structure is anybody’s guess). In other languages, however, such particles have more 23 24 the functions of clitics the character of (unstressed) clitics. ’ (Ryding 2005, 170). This is a relatively unusual instance of a case marker which is a proclitic. However, because noun phrases in Arabic begin with the noun, especially where we have a proper noun, the particle can’t be said to exhibit promiscuous attachment.

De. . (sometimes translated rather clumsily as ‘on the one hand . . on the other hand’). In example (61) (from Plato, via Weir Smyth (1920, 656)), we see the two particles intervening between the definite articles which modify the two subject nouns ‘soul’ and ‘body’, a typical position for such 2P clitics:6 (61) he: men psy:kh é: polykh rónión esti to de sô:ma asth enésteron the MEN soul long-lasting is the DE body weaker ‘The soul lasts for a long time, the body is weaker’ All of the Greek clitic particles which we have illustrated here are of the discourse marker type.

1977). There is one verb- or clause-level function which we have yet to mention and that is negation (or more generally, polarity). However, we will leave this case, since it turns out that most of the better-known instances of apparent clitic negation are best analysed as affixation. This is even true of English, as we will see when we look at the work of Zwicky and Pullum (1983) in the next chapter. We will therefore not illustrate negation here. 4 Nominal functions Clitics can express typical nominal functions such as case, definiteness, possessor agreement and (more rarely) number.

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