Mukri Pronominal Clitics in Prepositional Phrase: An Optimality Theorectic

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate of in Linguistics, Department of English language and Literature, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of English language and Literature, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran.


Historical linguistic studies on words lead to the genesis of  clitics. Clitics function like independent words but they are phonologically dependent and in order to be pronounced they attach to neighboring elements. Clitics’ attachment to their hosts can appear in different forms: proclitic, mesoclitic, endoclitics and enclitic. They are very important because clitics are where morphology, syntax, and phonology meet. Mukri Kurdish clitics which are highly mobile can be hosted by different categories including prepositions. Two groups of adpositions are found in Mukri which appear as both preposition and postposition. MacKenzie recognizes two kinds of prepositions in 'Mukri: simple prepositions and absolute forms. The prepositions of the first group occur immediately before a noun (or a noun phrase) and a pronoun which they govern, while the absolute forms which are fewer in number cannot occur before an independent noun, a noun phrase or an independent pronoun and can take only clitics as their complements. Besides the aforementioned ones, compound prepositions and circumpositions are also found in Mukri. Circumpositions can be both simple and complex. Simple circumpositions can take only nominal complements but the complex circumpositions can take both clitics and full forms as their complements. The present article tries to investigate the interaction of different kinds of Mukri adpositons with pronominal clitics using Optimality Theory constraints in Prepositional Phrase (PP). The constraints which play a role in clitic placement within PPs are NonInitial (cli, PP), Integrity (PP) and LeftMost (cli, L, PP). Data analysis against Optimality Theory constraints showed that constraints NonInitial (cli, PP) and Integrity (PP) dominate LeftMost (cli, L, PP). Finally it was concluded that Mukri Kurdish pronominal clitics appear in the second position. The research method of this article is descriptive – analytic and fieldwork. To collect the data the main author’s intuition as the native speaker of Mukri, 20 hours recorded speech, Mukri Kurdish sites and newspapers have been used.


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Volume 12, Issue 2
December 2022
Pages 51-76
  • Receive Date: 30 August 2021
  • Revise Date: 02 May 2022
  • Accept Date: 12 January 2022
  • First Publish Date: 12 January 2022