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|Title:||Second Position Clitic Phenomena in North-Central Australia: Some Pragmatic Considerations|
|Abstract:||Second position phenomena in North-central Australia: some pragmatic considerations. This paper presents a cross-linguistic investigation of the discourse-pragmatics of second position clitic attachment in seven languages of North-central Australia. The presence of (obligatory) pronominal enclitics constitutes an areal feature of Central-Northern Australian languages, from Western Australia to the Queensland Border. In some languages enclitics are described as primarily attaching to verbs (eg. Western Desert), others to the first ‘constituent’ (eg. Warlpiri). In many of these languages, pronominal clitics combine with tense, aspect and/or mood markers to form ‘clitic complexes’ (or ‘auxiliaries’), which may in turn have fixed clausal positions (eg. Warlpiri, Wambaya). Most investigations of clitic complexes have focussed on their formal properties, especially the range of phenomena that may function as clitic hosts, and the implications of different patterns of clitic attachment for syntactic description (eg. Simpson & Withgott 1986, McConvell 1980, 1996, Laughren 2002). While much of this work acknowledges that pragmatics plays a role in what motivates patterns of clitic attachment, these studies tend to go no further than to assign a label ‘focus’ to that which attracts the clitic complex. Here I explore what is meant by ‘focus’ by closely examining and comparing pragmatic relationships between the clitic complex and its host in the discourse of a number of languages. Such cross-linguistic work not only provides evidence for the pragmatic sensitivities of clitic complexes synchonically, but it also provides evidence for variations in their grammaticalisation status in individual languages.|
|Appears in Collections:||ALS 2004|
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