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Inherent vs. derived clisis: evidence from Czech proclitics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 1999

University of Berkeley


I investigate a diverse set of Czech words of unclear prosodic status. The analysis reveals that while it is possible to make a clear distinction between proclitics and nonclitics, certain nonclitics are disposed to occasional clitic-like behavior. I propose to capture this fact by distinguishing between inherent clisis vs. derived clisis, the latter being sensitive to certain semantic, pragmatic, and prosodic conditions. This approach allows us to address the striking similarities in certain behaviors between clitics and nonclitics without ignoring their equally important differences.

Research Article
1999 Cambridge University Press

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I am grateful especially to Larry Hyman, Sharon Inkelas and Alan Timberlake for numerous discussions of the topic and for their comments on several versions of the manuscript. I also benefited from careful reading and helpful suggestions provided by Knud Lambrecht, Gary Holland and two anonymous JL referees. None of them can, of course, be held responsible for how I used their help.