Second position clitics in Degema: a reanalysis
Kari, Ethelbert Emmanuel
PublisherWest African Linguistic Society; www.westafricanlinguisticssociety.org
Rights holderEthelbert Emmanuel Kari
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This paper reanalyzes so-called second position clitics in Degema as verb-adjacent clitics. The reanalysis is based on the observation that these clitics cannot be separated from the verb by intervening elements. Kari (2002a, 2003a and 2003b) analyzes subject clitics in Degema as second position clitics on the basis of the separability of these clitics from the (main) verb by intervening elements, such as auxiliary verbs and preverbal adverbs. With the reanalysis of so-called preverbal adverbs (Kari 2003a, 2003b and 2004) as auxiliary verbs in Kari (2008), the separability test that was used to argue in favour of second position clitics in the language is vitiated. Also, auxiliary verbs and preverbal adverbs that were hitherto considered intervening elements are no more seen as intervening elements but as part and parcel of the verb, which may consist of a main verb alone or a sequence of a main verb and a preceding auxiliary verb. A very important claim in the literature on clitics is that the presence of clitic doubling in a language is closely tied to the existence of verb-adjacent clitics (Franks and King 2000). Thus, the reanalysis of so-called second position clitics in Degema as verb-adjacent clitics provides a plausible explanation as regards the presence of clitic doubling in the language.