Serbian Clitics

image of Serbian Clitics

Clitics, those “funny little words” like English contracted future tense and pluperfect tense/conditional mood markers (’ll and ’d) or French pronominal objects (le ‘him’, la ‘her’, lui ‘to him/her’, etc.), have long been a source of fascination for linguists. Lacking an inherent stress that characterizes “well-behaved” words, clitics prosodically depend on a stressed sentence element, called their host, which makes them look and, in some contexts, behave like affixes (parts of words). Some clitics, Serbian second-position clitics being the case in point, also obey stringent linear ordering rules, different from those holding for fully-fledged sentence elements. This monograph offers a comprehensive formalized description of second-position clitics in standard Serbian from the viewpoint of the Meaning-Text theory, an approach relying on syntactic dependencies and oriented towards speech production, which sets it apart from most contemporary frameworks. It will be of interest for general linguists, Slavists, and advanced learners of Serbian.


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