The Prosody of 2P: An OT Approach to Czech Clitics

Mills Charles, Knox College

In the traditional view, prosodically deficient expressions comprise a primitive class which must be listed as such in the lexicon. More recently, however, Fried (1999) and Junghanns (2002) have proposed that Czech clitics be partitioned into two classes--those that are inherent, and those that are derived.  In this paper, I go one step further and reunify the two in the other direction, claiming that clitics per se--as a distinct prosodic entity--do not exist, showing how residual clitic effects can be achieved through independent means. The advantages to such an analysis are clear: On the one hand, ad hoc features such as [+/-stress] are purged from the lexicon where they play no other role. On the other hand, the analysis is unified, albeit at the expense of the conventional notion of clitic.  Since a refutation of the currently accepted view is of interest, I repeat two arguments here. The strongest evidence in favor of inherent clisis comes from the clitic's need for a host. Clitics with a host are well formed (1a-b), those without one are not (1c).  
(1)                a. Jana si sedla. 
                    'J. sat down.' 
                    b. Sedla si. 
                    c. * Si sedla. 
Explaining clitic placement in terms of a formal deficiency, however, misses the generalization that the sentence-initial position in filled in Czech whether clitics are present or not. In (2a), for example, Jana occupies the topic position, and V undergoes preposing in (2b), with no clitics in sight. But if such movement takes place independently, then it cannot be to satisfy clitics' need for a host, which--in this light--is merely epiphenomenal.
(2)                a. Jana ma knihu. 
                    'J. has a book.' 
                    b. Ma Jana knihu? 
A second indication that the inherent view may not be correct comes from the status of stress itself. Stress is automatically assigned to the left edge of the word in Czech (3a), and as such does not play a distinctive role, as it can for example in Russian (4a-b) (' indicates stress on the following syllable). But if stress is not distinctive, then it cannot be listed in the lexicon. In other words, the lexical entry of clitics cannot make reference to prosody and the inherent view is ruled out.
(3)                 Czech 
                    a. 'zamek 
                    b. * za'mek 
(4)                 Russian 
                    a. 'zamok 
                    b. za'mok 
Looking further afield, we find that stress is suppressed in nonclitic expressions in 2P, as well. The fact that other expressions surface unstressed in one and the same environment suggests that we are dealing with a positionally conditioned phenomenon.
(5)                a. 'To je 'pes. 
                    b. 'Je to 'pes. 
The remainder of the paper is devoted to an OT analysis of this emergent 'prosody of 2P'.
Fried, Miriam. "Inherent vs. derived clisis: evidence from Czech proclitics." Journal of Linguistics 35      (1999): 43-64. 
Junghanns, Uwe. "Kitische Elemente in Tschechischen: eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme." Linguistische 
                    Beitrage zur Slavistik IX. Ed. Th. Daiber. Munich: Sagner, 2002. 117-150.