Clitic Typology

One of my main research interests is word order typology and typological description of word order systems. This paper published in “Yazyk i recevaja dejateljnostj”, 2009 (Язык и речевая деятельность. 2009 (2005). Vol. 8. P.36-87) offers an approach where Slavic, Romance and Germanic languages with verbal clitics and sentential clitics are classified into different types.

  • Элементы предложения и синтаксические позиции в языках современной Европы // Язык и речевая деятельность, 8 (2009), Cтр. 36-87.
    wordordereuro

Clitic Typology and Word Order Typology

Clitic studies are a hot issue in general grammar and  linguistic typology, since a hypothesis that prosodically deficient elements are categories of a special level different from the level of word forms, the level of maximal projections and the level of morphemes, may lend new perspectives to traditional theories in syntax and morphology. I admit that there may be different valid approaches to defining the class of clitics, but I am insisting that the notion of clitics should remain operational, whatever criterion is chosen as the most salient one. I am furthermore arguing that clitic studies and word order studies intersect. Needless to say, there are aspects in word order typology that don’t depend directly on the problem of clitichood, though in some well-known situations the base word order (in the sense of Greenberg)  may be established only with regards to the constraints on clitic placement. There are also aspects in clitic studies that are more closely related to word structure and selective properties of word parts than with clausal syntax. Nevertheless, in some situations the constraints on the placement of clitics may be prominent or even decisive for a classification of word order systems. I am not claiming that all languages, say, with possessive, verbal or phrasal clitics are alike. But in many situations the constraints on the placement of clitics from a particular syntactic type form parametric grids: in this case, one is able to make probable typological predictions and correctly predict related features in languages sharing parametric settings for this type of clitics.

See my attempt to classify clitic systems with 2nd-position clitics basing on the notions of clitic clusters and constraints on the placement of 2P particle clitics:

  • Clitic particles and the typology of 2P languages. Particle workshop. Cambridge, Downing College, 30-31 October, 2008
    cambrigde2008 particle-workshop
    I would like to have a feedback to these draft versions of my paper given at the Particle workshop in Cambrigde (October 30-31, 2008 )

Diachronical implications between word order systems with 2P clitics and systems with the Verb-Second constraint are discussed here:

  • Clitic-second languages and verb-second languages in a diachronic perspective. Syntax of the World’s languages 3. Freie Universität Berlin, 25-28 September, 2008
    swl3revisedzimm

The linearization of clitics in a clitic cluster and the order of cliticization with focus on Slavic clitics is discussed in my SLS 3 talk. The presentation may be found here:

  • The emergence of the 2nd position clitics in the Slavic languages and the order of cliticization. // The 3rd Annual Conference of the Slavic Linguistics Society, SLS 3. Ohio, June 7-12, 2008
    sls3zimmrevized

See also an introduction to clitic studies:

  • Типология языков с сентенциальными клитиками: синтаксическая и просодическая классификации слов. Семинар по типологии и теории грамматики. Институт языкознания РАН, Москва. 19.11. 2007. zimmerlingclitics2007
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