Share this entry

Share this page

enclitic

Syllabification: en·clit·ic
Pronunciation: /enˈklidik
 
/
Linguistics

Definition of enclitic in English:

noun

A word pronounced with so little emphasis that it is shortened and forms part of the preceding word, e.g., n’t in can’t. Compare with proclitic.
Example sentences
  • With its multitude of vowels and complex systems of inflections and enclitics, Navajo is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn.
  • The object pronoun ‘me’ is arguably an enclitic, merging phonologically with the word that precedes it.

adjective

Back to top  
Denoting or relating to an enclitic word.
Example sentences
  • As in Edinburgh, the enclitic negative is nae, ny, as in cannae can't, dinnae don't, whereas other dialects have na.
  • The inflectional and enclitic systems of Navajo are complex, with ten different prefixes possible in the left positions, and seven different enclitic options possible after the verb stem.

Origin

mid 17th century: via late Latin from Greek enklitikos, from enklinein 'lean on', from en- 'in, on' + klinein 'to lean'.

Derivatives

enclitically

1
Pronunciation: /-(ə)lē/
adverb

Definition of enclitic in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure