affixes vs. enclitics (was: two, three, seven, eight)

Rory M Larson rlarson at
Tue Nov 9 18:56:49 UTC 2004

>> By the way, how is that Ofo version to be pronounced?  Is that
>> an aspirated 't' or an edh in /ithoN/ ?

Anthony wrote:
> Rory - it's aspirated t.

Thanks, Anthony!

Bob wrote:
> Aspirated.  And Swanton uses "oN" for an allophone of /aN/, so Ofo has
> Tutelo is similar.

I suppose I should also have asked about Biloxi.  Is it known whether
the initial /t/ there is pre- or post-aspirated, tense, or whatever?

>> In proto-MVS, I believe 'big' is *htaN'ka.  In Dakotan it is
>> thaN'ka, and in OP it is ttaN'ga.  The final -*ka is probably
>> an enclitic, so the original root for 'big' ought to be *htaN,

> I'd say the -ka is an affix and tightly
> bound.  I'd reserve "enclitic" for things like the articles that
> can be moved to the end of the NP, or, at least, farther to the
> right as you insert additional lexical material.

Thanks for the clarification!  I wasn't quite sure, but the term
enclitic popped into my head as I was writing that, so I decided
to put it in to see what happened.  I'll have a better sense of
the difference in the future!

However, even with the clarification, I'm not sure that I didn't really
mean 'enclitic'.  In OP at least, we seem to have two or three common
"endings" for nouns and stative verbs: -ga and -ge (both < -*ka ?);
and -de < -*te.  They seem to be tightly bound on individual words,
but in old compounds of such words these affixes seem to be dropped
in preceding position.  I don't think this is just the result of
abbreviated speech dropping syllables.

  iNgdhaN'ga    - 'cat'

  siNde'        - 'tail'

  sne'de        - 'long'

But the word for 'puma' or 'mountain lion', "long-tailed cat", is


where the -ga in iNgdhaN'(ga) and the -de in siN(de)' are absent,
leaving only the -de in sne'de at the end of this NP.

>>From this and other cases, I would suppose an earlier compounding
grammar in which the NP or stative verb phrase could be closed by
one of these affixes, such that only the final one was allowed.
The one chosen would be the one normal to the last element, not
the one normal to the head of the phrase.  Thus, the grammatical
slot for a closing affix would indeed move to the right as
additional lexical material is inserted, though the specific
particle itself could only be dropped, but not moved.  In a
system like this, would we call those phrase-closing morphemes
enclitics, or affixes?  (Note that I don't claim that this
grammar is productive now, and that when I originally used
the term 'enclitic' I had something like proto-MVS in mind.)

Thanks again for the feedback!


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