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Open Access Internal Structure of Clitics and Cliticization

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Internal Structure of Clitics and Cliticization

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image of Journal of Greek Linguistics

The role of the internal structure of clitics in cliticization has been investigated by many researchers up to now. In this study I look into three distinct types of analysis that have been proposed in the literature regarding this role and argue that they do not work for Greek. I further propose that the only role the internal structure of clitics can play in cliticization is via their phi-features, which render them active goals. However, I argue that the internal structure is crucial in another respect, namely in the incorporation of the clitic pronoun into its verbal host. This is because in order to incorporate, the clitic has to contain only a subset of the features contained in the incorporation host. Syntactic cliticization in Greek follows from syntactic agreement between the clitic pronoun and the phase head v*, which leads to movement of the clitic to the left edge of v* and to clitic incorporation into v*. Incorporation yields proclisis.


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