LINGUIST List 20.2930

Mon Aug 31 2009

Diss: Phonology/Syntax: Werle: 'Word, Phrase, and Clitic Prosody in...'

Editor for this issue: Di Wdzenczny <>

        1.    Adam Werle, Word, Phrase, and Clitic Prosody in Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian

Message 1: Word, Phrase, and Clitic Prosody in Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian
Date: 19-Aug-2009
From: Adam Werle <>
Subject: Word, Phrase, and Clitic Prosody in Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian
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Institution: University of Massachusetts at Amherst Program: Department of Linguistics Dissertation Status: Completed Degree Date: 2009

Author: Adam Werle

Dissertation Title: Word, Phrase, and Clitic Prosody in Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology                             Syntax
Subject Language(s): Bosnian (bos)                             Croatian (hrv)                             Serbian (srp)
Dissertation Director:
Elisabeth Selkirk John J. McCarthy Ellen Woolford Margaret Speas Robert A Rothstein
Dissertation Abstract:

I investigate the phonology of prosodic clitics - independent syntacticwords not parsed as independent prosodic words - in Bosnian, Serbian, andCroatian. I ask, first, how clitics are organized into prosodic structures,and second, how this is determined by the grammar. Following Zec (1997,2005), I look at several clitic categories, including negation,prepositions, complementizers, conjunctions, and second-position clitics.Based on a reanalysis of word accent (Browne and McCawley 1965, Inkelas andZec 1988, Zec 1999), I argue that in some cases where a preposition,complementizer, or conjunction fails to realize accent determined by afollowing word, it is not a proclitic - that is, prosodified with thefollowing word - but rather a free clitic parsed directly by a phonologicalphrase.

Conversely, the second-position clitics are not always enclitic - that is,prosodified with a preceding word - but are sometimes free. Theirsecond-position word order results not from enclisis, but from theavoidance of free clitics at phrase edges, where they would interfere withthe alignment of phonological phrases to prosodic words.

Regarding the determination of clisis by the grammar, I argue for aninterface constraint approach (Selkirk 1995, Truckenbrodt 1995), wherebyprosodic structures are built according to general constraints on theirwell-formedness, and on their interface to syntactic structures. I contrastthis with the subcategorization approach, which sees clisis as specifiedfor each clitic (Klavans 1982, Radanović-Kocić 1988, Zec and Inkelas 1990).The comparison across clitic categories provides key support for theinterface constraint approach, showing that their prosody depends on theirsyntactic configurations and phonological shapes, rather than on arbitrarysubcategorizations. Prosodic differences across categories are a derivativeeffect of their configuration in the clause, and of the division of theclause into phonological phrases.

The relevance of phonological phrases consists in how their edgesdiscourage some kinds of clisis, blocking, for example, proclisis ofcomplementizers and conjunctions to their complements. Free clisis isdisfavored at phrase edges, producing the second-position effect. Thus, theinterface constraint approach leads to a unified account of word, phrase,and clitic prosody.