Investigation on second-position clitic phenomena has steadily increased since Wackernagel’s (1892) observations. Researchers have applied contemporary clitic typology to various Semitic languages though Syriac has received little attention. This thesis identifies a group of Syriac rhetorical particles and describes their categorization as clitics, versus words or affixes. It establishes each of the Syriac particles as second-position clitics and provides evidence of this conclusion from a state-of-the-art digitized corpus of Syriac literature. Extending previous Syriac analyses, this thesis describes the nature of attachment of these second-position clitics as enclisis to either the first word or the first constituent/phrase of their domain. This variable clitic attachment behavior has been previously attested only in three other unrelated languages: Serbo-Croatian, Luiseño and Ngiyambaa. I discuss the analysis and application of these discoveries and their implications for future Syriac and linguistic research.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Pearson, Patrick Brendon, "Syriac Rhetorical Particles: Variable Second-Position Clitic Placement" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 5640.
Syriac, rhetorical particles, clitics, second position, corpus