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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
The roles of explicit information and grammatical sensitivity in the processing of clitic direct object pronouns and word order in Spanish L2.
A good example of environment (a) is the morpheme boundary between the negative suffix /-an[??]/ and the verbal clitic /=na/ in negative verb constructions.
Clearly, there is a modal clitic ba in the future tense constructions in Pashto that differentiates present tense constructions from the future tense.
Chilosi, "Dissociations in the acquisition of clitic pronouns by dysphasic children: a case study from Italian," in The Acquisition of Scrambling and Cliticization, S.
For example, while the accusative enclitic used in isolation /ru/ can be stressed (4(b)), the accusative enclitic used in a clitic cluster /u/ cannot (3(c)).
Spanish also features a PPC and it has been argued that there is a dative alternation construction only found in clitic doubling structures.
Another area of morphemic difficulty is that of clitic pronouns, where we witness both omissions and substitutions in spontaneous language tasks and structured tasks (Bedore & Leonard, 2001; Bosch & Serra, 1997; Gutierrez-Clellen, Restrepo, Bedore, Pena, & Anderson 2000; Jacobson & Schwartz, 2002; Simon-Cereijido & Gutierrez-Clellen, 2007).
Example (11) shows that the clitic yee co-refers to the left-dislocated nominal kitab.