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An unstressed word, typically a function word, that is incapable of standing on its own and attaches in pronunciation to a stressed word, with which it forms a single accentual unit. Examples of clitics are the pronoun 'em in I see 'em and the definite article in French l'arme, "the arm."
Of or relating to a clitic or clisis.

[Greek klitikos, leaning, from klīnein, to lean; see klei- in Indo-European roots.]

clit′i·cize (-sĭz′) v.
clit′i·ci·za′tion (-sĭ-zā′shən) n.


(Linguistics) (of a word) incapable of being stressed, usually pronounced as if part of the word that follows or precedes it: for example, in French, me, te, and le are clitic pronouns. See also proclitic, enclitic
(Linguistics) a clitic word
[C20: back formation from enclitic and proclitic]


(ˈklɪt ɪk)
adj., n.
enclitic or proclitic.
[1945–50; by extraction]
References in periodicals archive ?
Rates of use of these clitic microphrases are especially apt to discriminate between authors.
For example, Tirkkonen-Condit's interest in the processing involved in translating Finnish clitic particles resulted in proposing the unique items hypothesis, which has subsequently been refined and tested in relation to translation universals (e.
In the second chapter Gregory Stump and Andrew Hippisley take the case of subject agreement expressed by the past tense auxiliary clitic to show, through a "realizational" analysis, its valance sensitivity in the Pamir languages of Oroshori, Shughni, Bartangi, and Yazgulami, all spoken in Tajikistan.
In (4), the clitic pronoun l', which refers to the farmer, is from a syntactic point of view the direct object of the verb entendre, 'hear'.
Among the topics are definiteness and the structure of noun phrases in Slavic, evidence from colloquial Slovenian for a definite article in the AP, the case for a genitive case in Bulgarian, reciprocity expressions, about the vocative, and Slavic clitic systems in a typological perspective.
Estonian permits sequences of identical consonants at morpheme boundaries, including sequences that arise when a clitic, such as-ki, is added to a word ending in k.
2) The forms in question include the Romanian accusatives mine, tine and sine, the stressed counterparts to the clitic m(a), te and s(e); LogudoreseNuorese Sardinian mene and tene, which in some variants of the dialect coexist with the shorter me and te; Veglia Dalmatian main and the predictable but unattested *tain and *sain, the stressed counterparts, respectively, of me, te and se; and central and southern Italian mene, tene and sene, in their local garb, used alongside the unstressed me, te and se in Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio, the Marche, Abruzzo, Naples, Calabria, Sicily and Salento (Bartoli, Das Dalmatische, vol.
However, -alya is an 'endearment' clitic, while -ta is a suffix that appears on a number of kin terms, usually without any change in the gloss.
Interestingly, in this experiment, we controlled transition probabilities between pairs of words by relying on the ambiguity between definite articles and clitic objects that exists in French (as in other romance languages, and several other languages).
In Chapter Three, "Word classes," thirteen word classes in Kadorih are defined on the basis of morphological/syntactic distributions and of distinctions between word, affix, clitic, and base.
A second syntactic criterion often mentioned in discussions of verbal periphrasis is so-called 'clitic climbing', whereby a clitic moves from the participial complement to which it belongs up to the finite verb, as illustrated with an example from Old Spanish (cf.