(redirected from cliticizes)


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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈklɪt ɪk)
adj., n.
enclitic or proclitic.
[1945–50; by extraction]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
k-ila k-satya 'he, she is drinking' (Khan 2002a: 18, 331ff.), Senaya cliticizes the copula to the present, e.g., 3sg.
Erteschik-Shir (2005) assumes that the weak pronoun cliticizes onto the verb and is carried along with it in verb-second movement.
According to Huang, bu first cliticizes to the verb chi `eat' in (2c), forming the structure [bu-chi] `[not-eat]'.
Bu, being a clitic, cliticizes to its adjacent element.
Huang (1988) assumes that bu must cliticize onto auxiliaries/modals or the following verb, and since bu cliticizing directly to a verb induces a "nonevent" that is semantically incompatible with -le and manner phrases, facts (i) and (ii) are thus accounted for.
Ernst replaces Huang's principle P with his restriction 1 because there are sentences that do allow adverbials to appear in between bu and the verb, such as (9), which shows that bu does not necessarily cliticize to the first [V.sup.0] element, as suggested by Huang's principle P.
sentence [3b]) as follows: owing to the intervening XP trace left by the manner phrase, bu can cliticize onto neither the verb nor the trace.
Their clitic approach can be summarized as follows: bu, being a clitic, must cliticize to its adjacent element.
The reason is that a clitic can only cliticize to a lexical element, not to an abstract nonlexical element.
Hence bu cannot cliticize onto the empty modal element in (10) after all.
Since in sentences like (11) and (12), bu does not negate its adjacent element, the well-formedness of the relevant sentences reveals that bu does not always cliticize to its adjacent verb/word.