Issues in the placement of enclitic personal pronouns in the Rigveda
Wenthe, Mark Raymund
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The placement of enclitic pronouns in the Rigveda displays great variety; however, as enclitics, they must attach to a preceding prosodic unit. Frequently, they occur in second position within a clause, and the syntactic domains to which they belong (as verbal arguments or possessors of noun phrases) become ambiguous. As sentential constituents, they are subject to the same ordinary syntactic processes that accented personal pronouns undergo, notably including frequent fronting toward the beginning of a clause. The enclitic pronouns, therefore, are projected as ordinary syntactic arguments that are prosodically prevented from following a natural pause, such as the beginning of a clause. Since they are subject to both syntactic processes and prosodic constraints, they are an ideal subject for explorations into the syntax-phonology interface in Rigvedic Sanskrit. The framework of this investigation employs an extended CP (cf. Rizzi 1997 and Hale 2009) as a position to which elements of a sentence may be fronted as well as a late phonological readjustment called Prosodic Inversion that allows a clitic that has no prosodic support to trade places with an adjacent prosodic unit (Halpern, 1995). The poetic nature of the Rigveda provides additional evidence of the prosody of Vedic Sanskrit in support of an analysis invoking Prosodic Inversion. To account for the extreme variety of sentence structures in a poetic text in a nonconfigurational language such as Vedic Sanskrit, poetic employment of extraposition and dislocation are occasionally necessary. Such dislocation or extraposition is frequently motivated contextually and reflected prosodically in the placement of caesurae and line breaks.