Clitics in Greek

A minimalist account of proclisis and enclisis

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This monograph investigates the morpho-syntactic and other properties of clitic pronouns in Greek and offers a grammar of proclisis and enclisis in light of Chomsky’s (1995, 2001a, 2005) Minimalist Program. It explores the nature of clitics as syntactic topicalizers which are probed by structurally higher verbal heads to which they move and into which they incorporate morpho-syntactically. A theory is advanced according to which cliticization derives from syntactic agreement between (the phi-features of) a clitic pronoun and a phase head, v* in the case of proclisis and CM in the case of enclisis. Incorporation of the clitic into its host is argued to depend on two factors, i.e. the fact that the clitic only contains a subset of the features of its host, and the fact that the edge of the host is accessible. Also, the syntax of strong pronouns and their relation to clitics, of negated imperatives, of surrogate imperatives and of free clitic ordering in Greek enclisis are also discussed. This monograph would appeal to syntacticians and morphologists as well as to those interested in Greek and more generally in clitic syntax.

Subjects: Syntax; Generative linguistics; Theoretical linguistics; Other Indo-European languages

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Cambridge

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