Contact-induced spread of the rare Type 5 clitic

Johanna Nichols, Peterson A. David


Peterson 2001 shows that the Ingush (Nakh-Daghestanian; Caucasus) chaining particle is a Type 5 clitic: positioned relative to the final word in its domain, preceding that word, enclitic to the word before that. The host is the absolutive argument if there is one; otherwise the preverb; otherwise a dedicated reduplicate of the verb root. So far this remains the only firm example of a Type 5 clitic. We show that an identical construction, with a functionally identical clitic and reduplication, occurs in several nearby lanuages of the Avar-Andic branch. Diffusion, though unexpected, is the only explanation.

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