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Possessive clitics and <i>ezafe</i> in Urdu

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Abstract

In this paper we compare two ways of expressing possession in the Indo-Aryan language Urdu. While the genitive case marker can be analyzed as a clitic in a relatively straightforward way, the <i>ezafe</i> construction poses a challenge when it comes to its classification as either a phrasal affix or clitic. Samvelian (2007) analyzes Persian <i>ezafe</i> as a phrasal affix that is generated within the morphological component, rejecting a postlexical analysis. After taking a look at the data for both constructions, we challenge Samvelian&#8217;s view of <i>ezafe</i> and explore the possibilities for the interplay of phonology, morphology and syntax to resolve the tension between the lexical/affixal properties of clitics and their behavior as an independent syntactic item. In addition to the syntactic representation, we invoke postlexical prosodic phonology to cover all the properties of clitics in general and <i>ezafe</i> in particular. Thus, we show that it is not necessary to distinguish between phrasal affixes and clitics.

References

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