clitic

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

clitic (plural clitics)

  1. (linguistics) A morpheme that functions like a word, but never appears as an independent word, instead being always attached to a following or preceding word (or, in some cases, within a surrounding word).
    In English, the possessive -'s is a clitic.
    • 1997, Raffaella Zanuttini, Negation and Clausal Structure, Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax, page 29,
      In fact, even within the northern Italian dialects, subject clitics do not constitute a syntactically uniform class, as has been convincingly argued in Poletto's work.
    • 2006, Olga Mišeska Tomić, Balkan Sprachbund Morpho-Syntactic Features, page 242,
      In Macedonian, clitic-doubling is a fully-fledged phenomenon. The Macedonian Dat and Acc pronominal clitics, which originate in agreement phrases and move to preverbal position,10 where they cluster with other clausal clitics, are on their way to becoming mere case markers, which formally distinguish direct and indirect objects from subjects.
    • 2009, Philippe Prévost, The Acquisition of French, Language Acquisition and Language Disorders: 51, page 196,
      Here, we will see that they also have problems with overt pronouns, especially object clitics, whose emergence is more delayed than in typically developing children.

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