Clitic meaning

klĭtĭk
An unstressed word, typically a function word, that is incapable of standing on its own and attaches in pronunciation to a stressed word, with which it forms a single accentual unit. Examples of clitics are the pronoun ’em in I see ’em and the definite article in French l'arme, “the arm.”
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Of or relating to a clitic or clisis.
adjective
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(linguistics) A morpheme that functions like a word, but appears not as an independent word but always attached to a following or preceding word.

In English, the possessive -'s is a clitic.

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Origin of clitic

  • Greek klitikos leaning from klīnein to lean klei- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition