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Syntactic Atoms

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Chapter Summary

As Dixon & Aikhenvald (2002a: 2) note, not all languages have a concept with (more or less) the same meaning as the English concept word. If there are two or more enclitics appearing together, there is preliminary evidence that these may combine to form a phonological word. This chapter presents syntactic evidence which demonstrates that elements behave as clitics phonologically, also behave syntactically as enclitics in that they attach to entire syntactic units, not lexical roots or stems. Thus, phonological words in Kharia often consist of more than one "grammatical word" or "syntactic atom". There seems to be almost unanimous agreement in studies on clitics that, from a morphosyntactic point of view, these are "words" or syntactic level units. Clitics are classified primarily according to the criteria given in Aikhenvald (2002).

Keywords: Aikhenvald; clitics; Kharia; syntactic atom



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