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Cliticization vs. Inflection: English N'T

Arnold M. Zwicky and Geoffrey K. Pullum
Language
Vol. 59, No. 3 (Sep., 1983), pp. 502-513
DOI: 10.2307/413900
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/413900
Page Count: 12
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Cliticization vs. Inflection: English N'T
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Abstract

Two types of bound morphemes-clitics and inflectional affixes-are found attached to (free) words in many languages. At least six lines of evidence separate the clear cases on each side: the degree of selection between the dependent morpheme and the word to which it is attached; arbitrary lexical gaps; phonological idiosyncrasies; semantic idiosyncrasies; syntactic operations affecting the combinations; and restrictions on the combinability of clitics with inflectional affixes. These criteria all indicate that English contracted auxiliaries (She's gone) are clitics, but that the English contracted negative (She hasn't gone) is an inflectional affix-a rather surprising conclusion that turns out to have satisfying consequences.

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