On Mon, 7 Nov 2016 17:15:44 -0800 Jeffrey Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > I am confused about how to distinguish clitics from affixes. This > does not seem to me to be a clearcut distinction. Can anyone give me > a definitive guideline? An affix is generally inseparable from a root or stem. A clitic has a fixed position relative to some sentence element. A word is free. Obviously these are really three points on a continuum, and there are going to be marginal cases. Affixes can't normally be split off, but a recorded Italian sentence is E proprio -accio? "Is it really bad?" like something out of Esperanto. Similarly, Bloomfield defined a word as the minimal free unit: What colour was it? — Red. but it's hard to find a use of "and" as a sentence. In the French "je ne le vois pas", the order is absolutely fixed and you can't insert anything between the components, which encourages one to say everything bar "vois" is a clitic. Certainly you can't have "je" as a sentence. You might say a clitic is something that lies on the borderline between being a word and being an affix.