Clitics are words attached to other words (hosts) as affixes but playing role in syntax as separate elements. Examples of clitics in English are shortened verbs (-'s from is, -'re from are), particle not (becoming -n't), adverb -like. The main rules for recognizing clitics from affixes and compound words are:

  • they should not modify basic meaning of host words;
  • they can be written separately (but in the same order) without changing the sense of phrase;

See Wikipedia article about clitics for more theoretical information.

Clitics in Nûrlâm

Clitics play an important role in Nûrlâm's grammar and syntax. They are written as one word with their hosts or separated by hyphen but usually translated into English as separate words. Typical lexical categories that often used as clitics are:

Only short single-syllable words become clitic.

Since clitics often pronounced separately in colloquial speech, and were used instead of proper inflectional (grammatical) suffixes, they became one of main reasons of shifting from agglutinative to analytical style of language.

Concatenation vs. Separate spelling

Usually various grammatical clitics (e.g. verb's person) join the main word through concatenation in spelling, but by Nûrlâm convention they are written separately as stand-alone words when phonemes/words boundaries otherwise may produce:

  • two consecutive vowels;
  • long, hard to pronounce consonant clusters;
  • digraphs.

However, when written in Tengwar, all words will be written without spaces anyway. But Latin separate spelling will ensure that no sound combination into a different character will occur in Tengwar transcribers.

Please note: these rules apply only to word inflection. During the derivation of new words adjacent sounds are often merged into one phoneme or transformed.

clitics.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/07 00:59 (external edit)