Upward P-cliticization, accent shift, and extraction out of PP

  • Aida TalićEmail author


The paper explores how syntax influences the mapping of clitics to the prosodic structure in a dialect of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) that allows accent shift from nouns and adjectives to proclitics. I show that clitics preceding hosts of different morphological and syntactic complexity in the output of the syntax map to prosody differently. I establish a new correlation between the accent shift and the syntactic mobility of the host. Specifically, in a number of cases with adjectival hosts, accent can shift from the adjective to the proclitic preceding it only if the adjective is able to separate from the noun it modifies. I argue that prepositions in BCS cliticize to their host in the syntax in an upward fashion. I extend this analysis to a number of cases where non-constituents appear to be undergoing syntactic movement in BCS. The proposed analysis of cliticization also has important ramifications for the theory of phases and Abels’s (2003a) generalization that complements of phasal heads cannot move. I show that it explains away several cases where phasal complements appear to be moving out of phases in contexts with clitics, removing several potential problems for the phase-based system.


Syntactic cliticization Prosodic mapping Accent shift Syntax-phonology interface Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian accent 



For helpful comments on various versions of this paper, I am grateful to Željko Bošković, Harry van der Hulst, Jonathan Bobaljik, Nadira Aljović, Mamoru Saito, Andrea Calabrese, the audiences of GLOW 37, FASL 23, NELS 45, and four anonymous reviewers of Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. For help with judgments, I would like to thank Nadira Aljović, Sandra Stjepanović, Amna Brdarević-Čeljo, and Jasmin Hodžić.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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