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MORPHOLOGY/SYNTAX: element which, like affixes, cannot occur freely in syntax but is in need of a 'host'. A clitic can thus be regarded as a kind of bound morpheme. A typical clitic will attach itself to a host, that is, a (fully inflected) word or phrase. The observation that they can attach to inflected words distinguishes, among other things, clitics from affixes. Clitics come into two types: proclitics and enclitics. Proclitics attach themselves to the left of the host, while enclitics attach themselves to the right of the host. EXAMPLE: In French, object pronouns are clitics which are either proclitics, as me and les in (i), or enclitics, as les in (ii):

(i)   il	me	les	a	donnÚs	
      he	to-me	them	has	given
      'he has given them to me'
(ii)  donnez	-les	-moi				
      give	-them	-me
      'give them to me'

(iii) il mei lesj a donnÚs ei ej
In syntax it is usually assumed that a clitic is related to a gap, an empty category (trace or pro). But see clitic doubling. Example (i) is analyzed as in (iii), where e is a gap.
LIT. Haegeman, L. (1991)
Kayne, R. (1990)
Kayne, R. (1975)
Klavans, J. (1985)
Klavans, J. (1982)
Nespor, M. and I. Vogel (1986)
Rizzi, L. (1986)
Spencer, A. (1991)
Zwicky, A. (1977)
Zwicky, A. (1977)
Zwicky, A. and G. Pullum (1983)