|Title:||Clitics in Degema: A meeting point of phonology, morphology, and syntax||Add Dissertation|
|Author:||Ethelbert Kari||Update Dissertation|
|Email:||click here to access email|
|Institution:||Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Graduate School of Area and Culture Studies|
|Linguistic Subfield(s):||Language Documentation; Syntax;|
|Abstract:||The bulk of work on clitics has been centred on pronominal clitics in Indo-European and Slavic languages. What we have described in this work are clitics in Degema, an African language, specifically, a Niger-Congo language of the Delta Edoid sub-family spoken in Nigeria.
This dissertation provides a detailed description of Degema clitics, noting that cliticization in Degema brings together different levels of grammatical description, such as phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics, including pragmatics.
Chapters One to Three present background information, aspects of the Degema grammar that have direct relevance to the study of Degema clitics, and a review of literature on clitics respectively.
Chapter Four examines the source of Degema clitics against the popular view that clitics developed from free lexical items or from syntactic categories that must appear without accent. It is shown that Degema clitics did not develop from free lexical items or from any syntactic category but from diachronic affixes at an earlier stage of the language.
Chapter Five discusses two types of clitics that have featured in the literature on Degema linguistics. Also discussed is a surface endoclitic, which provides evidence against the claim that clitic attachment is always external to affixes. The interaction between clitics and the categories of tense, aspect and modality is discussed. It is noted that subject clitics change their forms to reflect the distinction between past and non-past, and affirmative and negative sentences. The discussions on Degema clitics and clitic doubling show that clitic doubling in Degema is not characterized by the presence of a preposition, as in Romance languages, or by topicality and specificity, as in Slavic languages, but by anaphoricity and emphasis and/or familiarity.
The distinctions between inflection and derivation, and clitic-affix-word are examined in Chapter Six. It is shown that despite grey areas between inflection and derivation in Degema, both phenomena are clearly distinguished by syntax and productivity. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that Degema clitics differ from words. They also differ from affixes, their common diachronic origin notwithstanding.
Chapter Seven shows that Degema (subject) clitics do not copy an actual constituent but the grammatical features of the subject noun phrase when it moves from its underlying position in the verb phrase to the specifier position of agreement phrase--a position that places it in juxtaposition to the subject clitic to make it possible for the copying of its features. It is also shown that Degema subject clitics are placed in second position not by clitic movement but by subject noun phrase movement--a syntactic operation that places the subject noun phrase in sentence initial position thus causing the subject clitic to occupy second position relative to the subject noun phrase.
In Chapter Eight, Degema clitics are examined against Klavan’s five parameters, i.e. Clitic Identity (Parameter 1), Domain of Cliticization (Parameter 2), Initial/Final (Parameter 3), Before/After (Parameter 4), and Proclitic/Enclitic (Parameter 5), and found that these parameters, especially parameters 3 • 5 that appear to follow from a proper definition and establishment of the domain of cliticization, predict correctly for Degema.
Finally, it is shown in Chapter Nine that, in addition to morphological uniformity and identification, the pragmatic factor relating to given vs. new information also determines whether or not thematic subjects can be suppressed in Degema.