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Academic Paper


Title: On syntactic and prosodic domains of clitic placement in Slovene
Author: Sean C. O'Rourke
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.yale.edu/linguist/students/orourke.html
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Phonology; Syntax
Subject Language: Slovenian
Abstract: In this analysis of second position clitic placement in Slovene, I argue that such placement is best characterized as a morphological process of phrasal affixation along the lines of proposals set forth by Anderson (1992, 1995, 1996, 2000) and Legendre (1996, 1997a, 1998a, 1998b, 2000a, 2000b, 2000c). An examination of simple sentences (i.e. those containing only one clause and no intervening intonational breaks) and complex sentences (i.e. those containing various types of subordinate clause or other constituents with accompanying intonational breaks such as parentheticals, appositives, and nonrestrictive relatives) indicates that analyses within an Optimality Theoretic framework (Prince and Smolensky 2004) based on constraints referring solely to syntactic domains such as CP and IP or solely to prosodic domains such as phonological and intonational phrases (cf. O’Connor 2002 for Bosnian/ Croatian/ Serbian) are unable to fully explain the seemingly varied clitic placement phenomena found in Slovene. In light of this, it is proposed that a hierarchy of violable morphological constraints referring to both syntactic and prosodic domains is better able to account for clitic placement in the utterance types examined. Such a proposal offers an explanation for Slovene sentences in which “second position” clitics appear to occur initially in both syntactic and prosodic terms when we consider the possibility that there is a phonologically null element such as pro which occupies first position in the syntax. With this in mind, we are able to conclude that (syntactically oriented) second position placement is still at work in such cases. Given the covert status of the preceding element (e.g. pro), a lower-ranked ranked constraint requiring second position clitics to appear first in an intonational phrase—-through alignment of the left edge of a relevant clitic with that of an intonational phrase—-is satisfied as well. More complex sentences from Slovene further illustrate the elaborate interaction of constraints on clitic placement which refer to syntactic and prosodic domains.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: 2004. (Journal of the Society for) Slovene Studies 26 (1-2). 27-79.


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