The prosodic representation of clitics in Irish

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In this paper, the behavior of proclitic function words in Irish is analyzed. It is argued that proclitics normally remain outside the prosodic word (pword, symbolized &#x3C9;) of the host lexical word, but under certain circumstances part or all of the clitic may be incorporated into the host pword. Thus both [Clitic <sub>&#x3C9;</sub>(Host)] and [<sub>&#x3C9;</sub>(Clitic + Host)] structures are found within a single language. Moreover, the final consonant of a proclitic can be syllabified as the onset of a vowel-initial host: A string VC # V... is syllabified V <sub>&#x3C9;</sub>(C V...), thus permitting a pword to consist of a morphologically arbitrary string. Finally, it is shown that the final consonant of a proclitic cannot be syllabified as the onset of a vowel-initial host when a syntactic trace intervenes between the proclitic and its host; this fact is attributed to a constraint forbidding pwords from mapping onto morphological strings containing a trace.


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