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Enclitics are reduced or contracted forms of words. They are attached to the word that precedes them by an apostrophe, and they are dependent on that word for their meaning.
Enclitics generally consist of just one consonant sound and cannot stand on their own. In English, they are usually the unstressed forms of functional words such as auxiliary verbs, determiners, participles, and pronouns. As such, they have grammatical rather than lexical meaning (compared with suffixes, which create new words through inflection).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an unstressed word that in speech becomes attached to the previous stressed word. The two words together form an accentual unit, or phonetic word. The most common enclitics in Russian are particles, such as by, zhe, -ka, li, and -to, as in gdé-by and ddi-ka. Pronouns, nouns, and verbs, depending on the context, can also function as enclitics, as in the sentence Gdé byl étot chelovék? (“Where was that man?”)

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
To determine the authorship of a play it helps to calculate the ratio of proclitic and enclitic phrases; syllabic suffixes -ed and -eth; pleonastic verbs "do"; grammatical inversions; the disyllabic form of the suffix -ion; and the frequency of rhythmical deviations from the metre used to emphasize the meaning of the situation described in the line ("rhythmical italics").
In some dialects of Imperia, Liguria, imperative phrases consisting of a verb plus enclitic pronoun(s) can be pronounced with stress in various positions: on the verb, or on the penultimate or final syllable of the phrase.
Enclitic possessives in Lecce and surrounding towns.
The definite article la is less important than the adverb la, just as the preposition si and the reflexive enclitic -si are less stressed phrasally than the interjection si, which usually stands alone in a sense "group."
The imperative forms in (55) show that enclitics never count towards satisfying the bisyllabic minimality requirement (Myers 1995: 87-88):
Nominals are marked with the appropriate ordered case enclitics: for example, retja=ni, 'for countrymen', and yivi=ndjen=sran, 'towards there now'.
The prescriptive scholar has not been interested in Greek for communication or in Greek philosophy and poetry: He settled Hoti's business--let it be!-- Properly based Oun-- Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic De, Dead from the waist down.
344.10; Itkonen [1991], 206 points out that deviant constructions involving prepositions and enclitic pronouns are also explained as cases of hyperbaton).
For example, the number of Rowley's run-on lines in The Changeling is 18.3 percent, the ratio of enclitics 119.7 per 1000 lines, the number of syllabic -ed 15.5 per 1000 lines.
One wishes that the contributors had made more effort to furnish examples where the text of the Avesta can be substantially improved (with previously unrecognized linguistic forms and/ or meaning, rather than merely dots separating enclitics, etc.) through their own meticulous collations and the use of different manuscripts from Geldner's.
(5) However, an unambiguous case of clitics marking verbal person is observed in Rama by Craig (n/d) (see Table 1): The person markers in question can be combined with plural marking enclitics which would make it difficult to interpret them as prefixes.
There are alphabetized sections on word stems, postbases, word endings of verbs and nouns, and enclitics, which precede 31 appendices covering, inter alia, such topics as inflection, roots and stems, kinship terms, ice and snow terms, time, location, counting, and names.