The unbearable lightness of clitics
The dissertation investigates the interaction of various kinds of phonologically weak items
(clitics) with different types of elliptical operations (mainly VP-ellipsis and sluicing). The main
focus of the work is on what this interaction can reveal about the timing of ellipsis and
The first part of the dissertation investigates the interaction of VP-ellipsis and second position
cliticization in Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian and reveals crucial differences between the two
languages in this respect: it is argued that second position cliticization is phonological in
nature in the former and syntactic in the latter. The second part focuses on preposition
omission under sluicing in Russian. It is argued that the operation of preposition omission is
sensitive to the prosodic organization of the prepositional phrase.
This dissertation is of relevance to those interested in the nature of cliticization, the timing
of ellipsis and prosodic restrictions on elliptical operations.