Linguistics Reflexives and Reflexivity
by
Dana Cohen, Anne Zribi-Hertz
  • LAST MODIFIED: 13 January 2014
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199772810-0169

Introduction

The term reflexive is applied by traditional grammarians to an event or situation that “reflects” (“rebounds”) upon its initiator, typically when some internal argument of the predicate co-refers with its subject (e.g., English John pinched himself or John saw himself in the mirror). In a slightly broader sense, reflexivity is a type of interpretation wherein two arguments of the same predicate co-refer, regardless of their structural positions in their clause; thus, I spoke to John about himself is viewed as semantically reflexive. From a cross-linguistic perspective, expressions used to express reflexive interpretations—reflexivity markers—typically include nominals denoting the human person or body, or inalienable parts of it (for example, Haitian Jan renyen tèt li, lit. “John hates his head” = “John hates himself”), and specialized reflexive pronouns (e.g., English himself, Russian sebja: Ivan ljubit sebja “Ivan loves himself”), which may grammaticalize into verbal affixes deriving reflexive verbs (for example, Russian myt’-sja, French se laver “to wash (oneself)”). Finally, reflexive interpretations, as defined above, may also be available with some ordinary personal pronouns (e.g., French Jean est fier de lui = “John is proud of him” or “of himself”). A crucial cross-linguistic generalization brought out by works on reflexivity is that the forms that may correlate in some contexts with reflexive readings, in the narrower sense defined above, are often associated, in other contexts, with interpretive effects distinct from reflexivity, such as valency or aspectual changes, intensification, subject affectedness, or subjective discourse perspective. Two approaches may thus be considered for the study of reflexives and reflexivity in one or several languages: (i) the research may focus on the expression of reflexivity in its narrowest semantic sense: how are reflexive interpretations signaled in a given language or in natural languages? (ii) the research may aim at identifying and linking together the different uses of forms available, among other things, as reflexivity markers. Option (i) leads us to consider reflexivity as a special case of co-referential or anaphoric relations. Option (ii) leads us to consider reflexivity as one among a set of semantic effects associated with a common “reflexive” morpology, and to try and understand how these different effects can arise from the same forms.

Reference Works

There is a vast body of literature on the topic of reflexivity, based on a myriad of languages, focusing on a wide array of constructions, and couched in various approaches. The reference works cited below provide informative presentations for researchers and advanced students, highlighting major issues and works. Everaert and van Riemsdijk 2005 provides a structural syntactic perspective, Huang 2000 provides a primarily pragmatic perspective, and Brown 2006 incorporates a wide range of approaches.

  • Brown, Keith, ed. 2006. Encyclopaedia of language and linguistics. 2d ed. 14 vols. Oxford: Elsevier.

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    An extensive reference that includes concise introductory articles of relevant topics from a variety of approaches, such as binding theory (Asudeh and Dalrymple, Volume 2), anaphora, cataphora, exophora, logophoricity (Y. Huang, Volume 1), logophoric pronouns (von Roncador, Volume 7), and intensifiers (König, Volume 5).

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    • Everaert, Martin, and Henk van Riemsdijk, eds. 2005. The Blackwell companion to syntax. 5 vols. Oxford: Blackwell.

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      An impressive collection that includes instructive overviews of several relevant topics, primarily from a structural perspective: binding theory (Reuland, chapter 9, Volume 1: 260–283), Icelandic logophoric anaphora (Reuland, chapter 33, Volume 2: 544–557), logophoricity (Reuland, chapter 38, Volume 3: 1–20), long-distance binding in Asian languages (Cole, Hermon, Huang, chapter 39, Volume 3: 21–84), long-distance binding in Germanic languages (Reuland, chapter 40, Volume 3: 85–108), and SE anaphors (Dobrovie-Sorin, chapter 56, Volume 4: 118–179).

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      • Huang, Yan. 2000. Anaphora: A cross-linguistic approach. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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        A pragmatic account of anaphora from a neo-Gricean perspective. Includes an extensive overview of the major issues in the study of anaphora and critique of the major approaches, both formal syntactic and functional pragmatic. Topics include binding, long-distance reflexivization, and logophoricity. Fascinating cross-linguistic data from over five hundred languages.

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        Monographs and Edited Collections

        Many monographs and edited collections are dedicated to topics of reflexivity from a range of perspectives. The selection here is divided into works with a Crosslinguistic Volumes outlook, which highlight the variety of structures and issues associated with reflexivity in natural language, and Language-Specific Volumes works showing the intricacies involved within a single linguistic system.

        Crosslinguistic Volumes

        Reflexive markers display great diversity crosslinguistically, and their uses are crucially affected by additional language-specific factors, such as the pronominal system in its entirety. The volumes cited in this section provide an insight into these language-specific interactions and highlight crosslinguistic strategies and tendencies. Faltz 1985 highlights the nominal/verbal distinction in reflexive marking. Geniušiene 1987 examines the issues of transitivity and valency associated with reflexivity. Kemmer 1993 addresses the diachronic development of reflexive markers into other, loosely related, uses. The cross-linguistic investigation of locally free, long-distance reflexives is addressed by two edited collections, Koster and Reuland 1991 and Cole, et al. 2000. Other edited collections, including Frajzyngier and Curl 1999 and Rousseau, et al. 2007, take a wider approach and examine various aspects of reflexivity from different perspectives. König and Gast 2008 focuses on the relations between reflexivity and reciprocity. Huang 2000 (cited under Reference Works) offers an impressive contribution to the cross-linguistic analysis of reflexivity and anaphora from a pragmatic perspective, while Safir 2004 and Reuland 2011 (cited under Structural Approaches) provide fascinating reflections on anaphoric dependencies from a syntactic perspective.

        • Cole, Peter, Gabriela Hermon, and C. -T. James Huang, eds. 2000. Syntax and semantics 33: Long-distance reflexives. Bingley, UK: Emerald.

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          Eleven articles on long-distance reflexives from structural and discourse perspectives, with a useful general introduction by the editors, and rich empirical data from a typologically varied sample of languages, including Indonesian, Turkish, Chechen/Ingush, alongside Chinese, Hindi/Urdu, and Norwegian.

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          • Faltz, Leonard. 1985. Reflexivization: A study in universal syntax. New York: Garland.

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            A major monograph focused on reflexivity, in the narrow sense, from a cross-linguistic perspective. Faltz proposes cross-linguistic tests to distinguish reflexive, middle, and emphatic interpretations, and to establish a hierarchy between reflexive devices in languages that have more than one. Two main reflexivity marking strategies are distinguished: nominal and verbal.

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            • Frajzyngier, Zygmunt, and Traci Curl, eds. 1999. Reflexives: Forms and functions. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

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              Nine studies addressing relevant issues pertaining to morphosyntax, discourse structure, and semantics, based on a rich array of languages. Topics of discussion include the categorization of markers as reflexive, co-referentiality, logophoricity, intensification, and grammaticalization. A good complement to the monographs cited in this section.

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              • Geniušiene, Emma. 1987. The typology of reflexives. Empirical Approaches to Language Typology 2. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                DOI: 10.1515/9783110859119Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Examining a wide range of languages (Indo-European, Turkish, Finno-Ugric, Semitic, Caucasian, Paleo-Asiatic, Eskimo-Aleut, West-Atlantic, Mon-Khmer), this book explores the diversity of reflexive markers in form, status, and origin, their impact on transitivity, and the range of semantic effects associated with them, which are assumed to form a continuum of valency recession.

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                • Kemmer, Suzanne. 1993. The middle voice. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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                  Does not focus on reflexivity in the narrow sense but rather on the polysemy network that typically develops cross-linguistically from reflexivity markers—subsumed under the term “middle voice.” The perspective is diachronic, typological, and cognitive.

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                  • König, Ekkehard, and Volker Gast, eds. 2008. Reciprocals and reflexives: Theoretical and typological explorations. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                    DOI: 10.1515/9783110199147Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    Examining a variety of languages, these are sixteen articles on reciprocity, reflexivity, and the relation between these semantic categories, sometimes conveyed by the same forms. The primary contribution is in the discussion of reciprocals, and they contain useful observations and new assumptions about reflexives, as reflexivity and as middle markers.

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                    • Koster, Jan, and Eric Reuland, eds. 1991. Long-distance anaphora. Cambridge Univ. Press.

                      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511627835Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Fourteen articles on long-distance (non-local) anaphora couched in a structural perspective, including an extensive introduction by the editors (pp. 1–26). The data (Scandinavian, Romance, Finno-Ugric, Chinese) show a systematic crosslinguistic convergence of properties, leading, among other things, to a clear distinction between reflexivity and bound anaphora.

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                      • Rousseau, André, Didier Bottineau, and Daniel Roulland, eds. 2007. L’énoncé réfléchi. Rennes, France: Presses Universitaires de Rennes.

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                        A collection of some twenty articles, all but one in French, focusing on reflexive utterances in a sample of languages (including Arabic, Basque, Berber, Danish, French, Hindi/Urdu, Hungarian, Latin, and non-standard English) from a typological viewpoint. Reflexivity is discussed from various complementary angles—lexical, semantic, pragmatic, morphological, and syntactic.

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                        Language-Specific Volumes

                        The studies cited in this section delve into specific intricacies of reflexive and anaphoric systems in specific languages. The French studies, Hatcher 1942, Stéfanini 1962, and Mélis 1990, are all from a primarily diachronic viewpoint. Garcia 1975 addresses the pronoun system of Argentinean Spanish. Everaert 1986 examines the Dutch pronoun system with relation to binding theory, while Fagan 1986 examines non-thematic reflexives in Dutch and German. Napoli 1973 takes an in-depth look at the uses of Italian si from a generative grammar perspective, while the analysis of Italian reflexives in Rosen 1988 is couched in relational grammar. Such extensive studies complement the comparative and typological studies cited in Crosslinguistic Volumes.

                        • Everaert, Martin. 1986. The syntax of reflexivization. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                          A detailed analysis of the Dutch pronoun system, distinguishing two paradigms identifiable as reflexive anaphors, under the terminology in Chomsky 1981 (cited under Structural Approaches), both obligatorily bound in a certain structural domain. Everaert carefully describes the distribution of each paradigm, and brings out the global economy of this part of Dutch grammar.

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                          • Fagan, Sarah. 1986. The syntax and function of non-thematic reflexives in German and Dutch. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International.

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                            Focuses on pronouns identifiable as reflexive since they agree with the subject of their clause but that fail to bear thematic roles, hence are not referential and do not express reflexivity involving coreference. Non-thematic reflexives are subclassified into ergative, middle, and inherent.

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                            • Garcia, Erica. 1975. The role of theory in linguistic analysis: The Spanish pronoun system. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

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                              An extensive monograph on the Argentinean Spanish pronoun system, specifically on clitic pronouns, and centrally on se, which includes a reflexive reading. The approach is empirical, synchronic, systemic, and functional, based on an impressive array of attested data.

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                              • Hatcher, Anna Granville. 1942. Reflexive verbs: Latin, Old French, Modern French. John Hopkins Studies in Romance Literatures and Languages 43. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.

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                                A foundational work on French reflexive verbs and their development from Latin to Modern French.

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                                • Mélis, Ludo. 1990. La voie pronominale: La systématique des tours pronominaux en Français moderne. Leuven, Belgium: Duculot.

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                                  A study of the development of the pronominal voice in French, based on 20th-century linguistic research.

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                                  • Napoli, Donna Jo. 1973. The two si’s of Italian: An analysis of reflexive, inchoative, and indefinite subject sentences in modern standard Italian. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Linguistics Club.

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                                    The first thesis on reflexives in the Chomskyan generative-syntax framework, focusing on standard Italian. Printed version made available by Indiana University Linguistics Club.

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                                    • Rosen, Carol. 1988. The relational structure of reflexive clauses: Evidence from Italian. New York: Garland.

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                                      An analysis of reflexives on the basis of Italian data, from the relational grammar perspective.

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                                      • Stéfanini, Jean. 1962. La voix pronominale en ancien et en moyen français. Aix-en-Provence, France: Ophrys.

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                                        A historical study of the pronominal voice, from old French to modern standard French, reviewing how the middle voice is addressed by grammarians in different periods. The term voix pronominale assumes se clitics (third-person reflexive) in modern French are not autonomous pronouns, but special verbal inflections, midway between active and passive.

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                                        Structural Approaches

                                        The works cited in this section are central structural analyses of referential dependencies and reflexivity in particular. The primary reference in this context is the binding theory in Chomsky 1981, which offers a tightly-knit theory of universal syntax, formally distinguishing three classes of linguistic expressions (R-expressions, pronominals [e.g., her] and anaphors [e.g., herself]), and defining strict structural conditions for their relations with their antecedents. Specifically, anaphors find their antecedents in a local structural domain (roughly the minimal clause), while pronominals cannot have an antecedent in the local domain. Standard binding theory (Chomsky 1981) opened the way to a large number of works showing its limitations and inadequacies and proposing revisions, from various theoretical perspectives, to accommodate new empirical data, in English and other languages. Of the works cited here, Dalrymple 1993 provides an analysis in the LFG framework, Pollard and Sag 1992 proposes an HPSG approach, reflexivity theory in Reinhart and Reuland 1993 offers modifications within the GB framework, Safir 2004 proposes an account based on principles of complementarity, Hicks 2009 examines binding from the perspective of the newer minimalist program, while Reuland 2011 reduces anaphoric relations to general grammatical and cognitive principles. Related discussions can be found in (Everaert 1986, Napoli 1973), and Rosen 1988 (all cited in Language-Specific Volumes) and in Koster and Reuland 1991, Frajzyngier and Curl 1999, and Cole, et al. 2000 (all cited in Crosslinguistic Volumes). For criticism of these approaches, particularly with respect to standard binding theory, see Functional and Pragmatic Approaches and Non-Canonical Reflexives.

                                        • Chomsky, Noam. 1981. Lectures on government and binding. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                          Includes a presentation of Chomsky’s first (standard) binding theory—a central component in reflexivity research—and outlines how this theory interacts with other components of government binding theory.

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                                          • Dalrymple, Mary. 1993. The syntax of anaphoric binding. Stanford, CA: CSLI.

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                                            Using a syntactic approach, and borrowing concepts from binding theory, this book presents a more refined crosslinguistic picture of the pronoun systems of typologically different languages. Dalrymple defines a set of combinable structural constraints, allowing for a more precise and complex definition of bound anaphors and reflexive markers in the framework of LFG.

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                                            • Hicks, Glyn. 2009. The derivation of anaphoric relations. Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 139. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                              Reexamines anaphoric relations in light of the minimalist program. He argues for a derivational reanalysis of binding theory, ultimately reducing binding to AGREE. The book includes an extensive introductory overview to anaphora and binding theory in the generative literature.

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                                              • Pollard, Carl, and Ivan Sag. 1992. Anaphors in English and the scope of the binding theory. Linguistic Inquiry 23.2: 261–303.

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                                                Examines the limitations of binding theory with respect to reflexive anaphors and proposes an alternative structural analysis in terms of a thematic hierarchy, from an HPSG perspective.

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                                                • Reinhart, Tanya, and Eric Reuland. 1993. Reflexivity. Linguistic Inquiry 24.4: 657–720.

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                                                  On the basis of English and Dutch, the authors redefine syntactic and semantic conditions on binding, based on a distinction of simplex and complex anaphors. Their stricter definitions are intended to exclude a range of non-canonical reflexives from structural restrictions.

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                                                  • Reuland, Eric. 2011. Anaphora and language design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                    In light of cross-linguistic data, primarily from European languages, Reuland discards binding theory, and proposes to account for anaphoric relations through more general linguistic principles and the interaction of cognitive principles that are not limited to a linguistic function. The analysis is couched in a generative, minimalist approach, but is relatively accessible to non-generativists.

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                                                    • Safir, Ken. 2004. The syntax of anaphora. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                      DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195166132.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      Examines anaphoric dependencies in a wide range of languages, and proposes an account based on a systematic notion of complementarity and a complex system of competitive principles. The book includes an extensive critical discussion of binding theory and of Reinhart and Reuland 1993 and its reflexivity theory.

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                                                      Functional and Pragmatic Approaches

                                                      Reflexive anaphora is part of the wider topic of referring expressions and reference resolution. Reference resolution with non-pronominal forms and with pronouns is typically beyond a local domain and therefore necessarily involves discourse pragmatic aspects. The works cited in this section address reflexive reference from a pragmatic perspective as part of a wider referential system, thus rejecting the autonomy of syntax, at least for this domain. Cantrall 1974 is a precursor to a prolific line of research, as it is the earliest work to identify the viewpoint effect associated with English reflexives and pronouns in contexts of overlapping distribution. Point of view is also central in Kuno 1987, which elaborates a complex network of interactive structural and pragmatic criteria. Ariel 1990 argues that referring expressions in general, reflexives included, encode varying degrees of referential accessibility. Accordingly, reference resolution is affected by the accessibility of a referent at a given point in discourse. Levinson 1991 and Huang 1994 take a neo-Gricean approach to the complementarity of pronouns and reflexives (see also Huang 2000 cited under Reference Works). Garcia 1996 offers a pragmatic analysis for pronoun/reflexive alternations in Spanish. Logophoricity and its interaction with syntactic parameters is also addressed in Zribi-Hertz 1989, Stirling 1994, Brinton 1995, Kemmer 1995, Reuland 1997, and Xue and Popowich 2002 (all cited in Logophoricity and Subjective Point of View).

                                                      • Ariel, Mira. 1990. Accessing noun phrase antecedents. London: Routledge.

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                                                        The focus here is not on reflexives as such but rather on a general crosslinguistic theory of anaphora correlating the forms of referring expressions to the pragmatic notion of referent accessibility. Under this theory, expressions that co-refer with a co-argument signal a maximally high degree of accessibility of their referent.

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                                                        • Cantrall, William. 1974. Viewpoint, reflexives, and the nature of noun phrases. The Hague: Mouton.

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                                                          Addresses the significance of point of view for the construal of nominal reference. Providing examples involving reflexives (self-pronouns), this is a precursor to discussions on long-distance reflexives and logophors, triggered over a decade later by the publication of Chomsky’s binding theory.

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                                                          • Garcia, Erica C. 1996. What “reflexivity” is really like. Linguistics 34:1–51.

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                                                            Examines contexts allowing si (the reflexive) and él (the non-reflexive third-person pronoun) to alternate in various Spanish dialects and proposes a pragmatic account of this alternation.

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                                                            • Huang, Yan. 1994. The syntax and pragmatics of anaphora: A study with special reference to Chinese. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                              In the wake of the theory of pronominal anaphora in Levinson 1991, Huang presents a critical discussion of syntactic theories of bound anaphora, binding theory in particular, incorporating empirical data from Chinese.

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                                                              • Kuno, Susumu. 1987. Functional syntax: Anaphora, discourse, and empathy. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                This important book contains an original critical discussion of Chomsky’s binding theory and the view of autonomous syntax, in light of rich data from English and Japanese. Kuno elaborates a complex system of factors, structural, semantic, and pragmatic, which affect anaphoric relations, particularly with reflexives.

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                                                                • Levinson, Stephen. 1991. Pragmatic reduction of the binding conditions revisited. Journal of Linguistics 27:107–161.

                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S0022226700012433Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Levinson proposes a pragmatic reinterpretation of the complementary distribution of reflexive and non-reflexive pronouns, based on the maxims of the cooperative principle in Grice 1975.

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                                                                  Non-Canonical Reflexives

                                                                  According to a common view (see references in Structural Approaches), reflexive pronouns are prototypically linked to the subject of their clause and are thus in complementary distribution with (non-reflexive) personal pronouns. Any situation involving a reflexive or non-reflexive pronoun that fails to satisfy this canonical pattern is therefore taken to be “non-canonical.” Citations are divided into three sub-sections based on the primary foci of the works cited (Pronominal and Reflexive Overlap, Logophoricity and Subjective Point of View, Logophoricity as Intensification), but there is much overlap between the first two sections. These constructions are also addressed extensively in works cited in Structural Approaches and Functional and Pragmatic Approaches.

                                                                  Pronominal and Reflexive Overlap (Him/Himself)

                                                                  Chomsky’s standard binding theory crucially predicts the complementary distribution of pronominals such as English him, and anaphors, prototypically instantiated by English reflexives (himself). Any context allowing simplex (non-reflexive)/complex (reflexive) pairs (e.g., English him/himself) to alternate is thus problematic for the standard binding theory. Among contexts licensing such alternations in English are noun phrases headed by so-called picture noun phrases, first mentioned in Warshawsky 1965, as in: John knew that a picture of him(self) appeared in that newspaper. Other types of contexts also allow him/himself alternation, such as coordinated structures and PPs, e.g., He really didn’t care too much what happened to him(self). Since they a priori alternate with non-reflexive pronouns in such contexts, such reflexives are taken to violate Principle A of the binding theory, and refer to an antecedent beyond the local domain. Thus, bound pronouns identified elsewhere as reflexives are described as non-locally bound reflexives or long-distance anaphors. Early attempts to address the non-complementarity of pronouns and reflexives are found in Warshawsky 1965, Jackendoff 1972, and Helke 1973. Cole, et al. 1990 provides a later structural approach on the basis of Chinese data. Okada 1998 focuses on picture NP reflexives with split antecedents. Constructions showing pronoun/reflexive distributional overlap motivate the structural proposals in Reinhart and Reuland 1993 and Pollard and Sag 1992, and are extensively discussed in Safir 2004 and Reuland 2011 (all cited in Structural Approaches), as well as in Koster and Reuland 1991, Frajzyngier and Curl 1999, and Cole, et al. 2000 (all cited in Crosslinguistic Volumes), and in Burkhardt 2005 and Runner, et al. 2006, both experimental studies cited in Language Acquisition and Psycholinguistics. Further relevant citations are found in Non-Canonical Reflexives, Logophoricity, and Long-Distance Reflexives and in Reference Works. Two assumptions have been put forward with regard to long-distance reflexives: that they are typically subject-oriented, unlike non-reflexive pronouns, and that morphologically complex reflexives (e.g., Eng. himself, Jap. zibun-zisin) are linked to an argument in their own clause (“locally bound”), in contrast to morphologically simplex reflexives (e.g., Fr. se, Jap. zibun), which are open to long-distance binding. These assumptions are discussed in Cole, et al. 1990, as well as in Koster and Reuland 1991, Cole, et al. 2000 (both cited in Crosslinguistic Volumes), Reinhart and Reuland 1993 and Reuland 2011 (both cited in Structural Approaches). Critical discussions can be found in Safir 2004 (cited in Structural Approaches), Kuno 1987 and Huang 1994 (both cited in Functional and Pragmatic Approaches), and Huang 2000 (cited in Reference Works).

                                                                  • Cole, Peter, Gabriella Hermon, and Li-May Sung. 1990. Principles and parameters of long-distance reflexives. Linguistic Inquiry 25:355–406.

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                                                                    A syntactic analysis examining the structural condition under which Chinese reflexive markers can show long-distance binding (see also Cole, et al. 2000, cited in Crosslinguistic Volumes).

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                                                                    • Helke, Michael. 1973. On reflexives in English. Linguistics 106:5–23.

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                                                                      A published version of Helke’s PhD dissertation, completed in 1971. Helke acknowledges and tries to account for the fact that reflexives and non-reflexive pronouns are not in perfect complementary distribution in English. He distinguishes reflexives and emphatic pronouns, and takes into account the morphological make-up of reflexives (analyzed as possessive nominals).

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                                                                      • Jackendoff, Ray. 1972. Semantic interpretation in generative grammar. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                        An early semantic approach within transformational grammar, providing semantic interpretation rules in the syntactic derivation.

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                                                                        • Okada, Sadayuki. 1998. Reflexive pronouns with split antecedents. Journal of Pragmatics 30.1: 59–84.

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                                                                          Analyzes reflexive constructions with split antecedents, particularly picture NPs, in light of a semantic constraint on event descriptions in simple sentences.

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                                                                          • Warshawsky, Florence. 1965. Reflexivization I; Reflexivization II. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Linguistics Club.

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                                                                            One of the earliest works focusing on reflexives in the transformational grammar framework, this study already points out the apparently unruly behavior of reflexives in “picture noun” contexts. Reprinted in Notes from the Linguistic Underground. Syntax and Semantics 7. Edited by J. McCawley, 63–84. New York: Academic.

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                                                                            Logophoricity and Subjective Point of View

                                                                            Various studies have shown the existence, cross-linguistically, of reflexive forms that alternate with simplex (non-reflexive) pronouns, thereby challenging the predictions of Chomsky’s standard binding theory. Contexts licensing such alternations include, in English, so-called picture noun phrases, coordinated NPs and PPs. Such reflexives are taken to violate Principle A of binding theory and refer to an antecedent beyond the local domain. Thus, bound pronouns identified elsewhere as reflexives are described as non-locally bound reflexives or long-distance anaphors. Such data have led researchers to explore the types of structural and discourse contexts that favor the choice of long-distance anaphors over ordinary personal pronouns. Long-distance anaphors have been shown to typically correlate with subjectivity effects (internal point of view of an event participant, represented thought, reported speech) and are sometimes called logophors (a term introduced in African linguistics in reference to pronouns specifically licensed in reported-speech contexts). Following Cantrall 1974 and Kuno 1987 (both cited in Functional and Pragmatic Approaches), Zribi-Hertz 1989 examines the impact of logophoricity on reflexive binding in English prose; Brinton 1995 associates logophoricity with free indirect speech. Sells 1987, Stirling 1994, Culy 1997, and Reuland 1997 attempt to provide more in-depth characterization of the nature of logophoricity. Xue and Popowich 2002 shows the interaction of syntactic and discourse conditions in non-argument reflexives. The multi-functionality of reflexives, logophoricity being only one such function, is examined in Kemmer 1995 from a polysemous view (of English -self). Non-locally bound reflexives motivate the structural proposals of Reinhart and Reuland 1993, Pollard and Sag 1992, and Reuland 2011 (all cited in Structural Approaches), and are central in the volumes by Koster and Reuland 1991, Frajzyngier and Curl 1999, and Cole, et al. 2000 (all cited in Crosslinguistic Volumes), and in the experimental studies Burkhardt 2005 and Runner, et al. 2006 (cited in Language Acquisition and Psycholinguistics). Further relevant citations are found in Functional and Pragmatic Approaches, Pronominal and Reflexive Overlap and in Reference Works.

                                                                            • Brinton, Laurel. 1995. Non-anaphoric reflexives in free indirect style: Expressing the subjectivity of the non-speaker. In Subjectivity and subjectivisation. Edited by D. Stein and S. Wright, 173–194. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511554469Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Analyzes non-locally bound reflexives in English, particularly in free indirect speech. Brinton argues these represent a character’s own point of view, and form a marker of the free indirect style.

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                                                                              • Culy, Christopher. 1997. Logophoric pronouns and point of view. Linguistics 35.5: 845–859.

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                                                                                Distinguishes logophoricity from point of view, logophoricity being a marker of indirect speech. Culy argues that the representation of point of view is secondary both in logophoric pronouns and in reflexives.

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                                                                                • Kemmer, Suzanne. 1995. Emphatic and reflexive -self: expectations, viewpoint, and subjectivity. In Subjectivity and subjectivisation. Edited by D. Stein and S. Wright, 55–82. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511554469Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Examines a subset of self-form functions in English: reflexive, emphatic, and subjective, from a cognitive grammar approach. She analyzes the self-form as polysemous, and distinguishes two semantic/pragmatic functions.

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                                                                                  • Reuland, Eric. 1997. Logophoricity as orientation. In UiL OTS Yearbook. Edited by J. Don and T. Sanders, 71–83. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS.

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                                                                                    Examines the notion of logophoricity, and proposes to explain the logophoric interpretation of reflexives and the non-local nature of logophoric binding through the concept of orientation.

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                                                                                    • Sells, Peter. 1987. Aspects of logophoricity. Linguistic Inquiry 18.3: 445–479.

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                                                                                      On the basis of crosslinguistic data, Sells argues that logophoricity is not a uniform notion but encompasses several primitives: the source of the report, the self (the consciousness of the speaker), and the pivot (the physical point of view involved). He argues that languages may encode some but not all of these, along an implicational hierarchy.

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                                                                                      • Stirling, Lesley. 1994. Logophoricity and long-distance reflexives. In Vol. 4, The encyclopedia of language and linguistics. Edited by R. E. Asher, 2302–2306. Oxford: Pergamon.

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                                                                                        Focuses on long-distance reflexives and the subjectivity/point-of-view effects they trigger.

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                                                                                        • Xue, Ping, and Fred Popowich. 2002. The dual status of middle-distance reflexives. Journal of Linguistics 38.1: 71–86.

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                                                                                          An analysis of non-argument reflexives in American English, showing that they can be syntactically bound or obey discourse conditions. A comparison with reflexives in British English and Chinese leads to the conclusion that licensing conditions for syntactic and discourse reflexives are not exclusively disjunctive.

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                                                                                          • Zribi-Hertz, Anne. 1989. Anaphor binding and narrative point of view: English reflexive pronouns in sentence and discourse. Language 65.4: 695–727.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/414931Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            An analysis of locally free reflexives in terms of logophoricity and subjective point of view, on the basis of extensive attested data showing exceptions to binding theory in English.

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                                                                                            Logophoricity as Intensification

                                                                                            One possible solution to the problem posed by locally free reflexives is to analyze them not as referential reflexives, but as having a non-referential, emphatic function. Baker 1995 proposes locally free self are NP-adjacent intensifiers without the pronoun. König and Siemund 1999 incorporates Baker’s analysis into its diachronic analysis of the grammaticalization of reflexives, and König and Siemund 2000 incorporates Baker’s analysis into its synchronic analysis of English NP-adjacent and VP-adjacent intensifiers. For different approaches to logophoricity, see the works cited under Pronoun and Reflexive Overlap and Logophoricity and Subjective Point of View. For other analyses of intensifiers, see works cited under Intensification and Emphasis.

                                                                                            • Baker, C. Lee. 1995. Locally free reflexives, contrast, and discourse prominence in British English. Language 71:63–101.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/415963Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Offers an analysis of English NP-adjacent intensifiers in terms of contrastiveness and prominence. On the basis of attested literary data, he re-analyzes locally free reflexives in British English as a sub-type of intensifiers, in which subjectivity is accounted for by the prominence requirement.

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                                                                                              • König, Ekkehard, and Peter Siemund. 1999. Intensifiers and reflexives: A typological perspective. In Reflexives: Forms and functions. Edited by Z. Frajzyngier and T. Curl, 41–74. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                A crosslinguistic synchronic and diachronic analysis of the relations between intensifiers and reflexive anaphors, proposing a universal grammaticalization tendency according to which intensifiers develop into reflexive forms.

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                                                                                                • König, Ekkehard, and Peter Siemund. 2000. Locally-free self-forms, logophoricity and intensification in English. English Language and Linguistics 4.2: 183–204.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S1360674300000228Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Contrasts several approaches to locally free reflexives, finally adopting the approach in Baker 1995, viewing these reflexives as intensifiers without pronominal heads. The authors then incorporate the relevant constructions into their semantic analysis of intensifiers.

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                                                                                                  Intensification and Emphasis

                                                                                                  The term “intensifier” in the present context refers to reflexive forms used as adjuncts, e.g., English: Paul himself or Paul cleaned the house himself. Intensifiers and argument reflexives are homophonous in many languages, and related in form in many others. Relatively few studies address the properties of intensification, typically falling into several approaches. Moyne 1971, Gast 2006, and Kemmer 1995 (cited in Logophoricity and Subjective Point of View) propose synchronic analyses that view the multifunctional nature of reflexive forms as a case of polysemy. Siemund 2000 and Gast 2006 represent the polysemous approach to the multiple positions and readings of intensifiers, also found in Baker 1995 and in König and Siemund 1999, König and Siemund 2000 (both cited in Logophoricity as Intensification). A rarer monosemous perspective to intensification is adopted in Leskosky 1972, Moravcsik 1972, and Cohen 2010. Zribi-Hertz 2008 represents the diachronic approach according to which argument reflexives tend to historically develop from intensifiers, a view discussed extensively in Keenan 2002, König and Siemund 2000, and van Gelderen 2000 (all cited in Diachrony), and in König and Siemund 1999 (cited in Logophoricity as Intensification).

                                                                                                  • Cohen, Dana. 2010. A comparative perspective on intensive reflexives: English and Hebrew. In Comparative and contrastive studies of information structure. Edited by Carsten Breul and Edward Göbbel, 139–168. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                    A comparative analysis of English and Hebrew intensifiers, proposing a monosemous approach to intensifiers in various positions. Intensifiers are analyzed as signals of comparison; it is shown that position variations mark scope differences and variations in information structure.

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                                                                                                    • Gast, Volker. 2006. The grammar of identity: Intensifiers and reflexives in Germanic languages. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                      A primarily semantic analysis of reflexive forms in Germanic languages, assuming polysemy, but showing a core element: reflexives denote an identity function. A comparative examination of crosslinguistic data shows how the morphosyntactic properties of these forms are affected by the specifics of the entire pronominal system.

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                                                                                                      • Leskosky, Richard. 1972. Intensive reflexives. In Studies in the linguistic science. Vol. 2.1. Edited by Georgia Green, 42–65. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois.

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                                                                                                        An early monosemous study of intensifiers in English, providing comprehensive, descriptive data.

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                                                                                                        • Moravcsik, Edith. 1972. Some crosslinguistic generalizations about intensifier constructions. Chicago Linguistic Society 8:271–277.

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                                                                                                          A monosemous analysis of intensifiers, through a reduplication transformation and scope effects. The analysis is couched in transformational grammar but is a precursor to current analyses.

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                                                                                                          • Moyne, John. 1971. Reflexive and emphatic. Language 47.1: 141–163.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/412192Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            A careful analysis of reflexives and emphatics in Persian, leading the author to argue that cross-linguistically, the two, while frequently homophonous in form, are distinct in function. The analysis is couched in transformational grammar.

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                                                                                                            • Siemund, Peter. 2000. Intensifiers: A comparison of English and German. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                              The first book dedicated to the analysis of intensifiers, providing a detailed polysemous analysis on the basis of German and English data.

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                                                                                                              • Zribi-Hertz, Anne. 2008. From intensive to reflexive: The prosodic factor. In Reciprocals and reflexives: Theoretical and typological explorations. Edited by Ekkehard König and Volker Gast, 591–631. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1515/9783110199147Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                Tries to explain why the non-clitic pronouns of French are open to a reflexive interpretation in certain contexts, while their English non-reflexive equivalents exhibit a disjoint reference effect. The proposed analysis correlates the observed contrasts to the different prosodic properties of (non-clitic) pronouns in the two languages.

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                                                                                                                Typology, Diachrony, Grammaticalization, and Lexicalization

                                                                                                                Reflexive forms and constructions frequently exhibit multifunctionality, both in specific languages and crosslinguistically. Typological and diachronic perspectives are therefore closely interrelated in relevant linguistic studies.

                                                                                                                Typology

                                                                                                                Forms identified as reflexives exhibit great diversity. The array of forms and constructions is often associated with multifunctionality, within languages and crosslinguistically. Many studies attempt to pinpoint the central characteristics of reflexivity phenomena and propose categorizations and classifications among reflexive forms and between reflexive forms and other pronominal markers. Such an approach often combines synchronic and diachronic perspectives. The nature and typology of reflexive structures is addressed in Doron and Rappaport-Hovav 1999 and König 2007. Other significant sources are Faltz 1985, Geniušiene 1987, Koster and Reuland 1991, Kemmer 1993, Frajzyngier and Curl 1999, and Rousseau, et al. 2007 (all cited in Crosslinguistic Volumes), and Schladt 1999 (cited in Diachrony). The distinction between reflexive and pronoun, or co-referentiality and disjoint reference, is highlighted in Farmer and Harnish 1987 (see also Levinson 1991 and Huang 1994, both cited in Functional and Pragmatic Approaches, and Huang 2000, cited in Reference Works). The relations between reflexives and reciprocals are examined in Lichtenberk 1994 as well as in König and Gast 2008 (cited in Crosslinguistic Volumes), Langendoen and Magloire 2003 (cited in From Reflexive Morphosyntax to Interpretation), and addressed in Reinhart and Siloni 2005 (cited in Valency Reduction and Aspect), Safir 2004 and Reuland 2011 (both cited in Structural Approaches). Further citations on reciprocity can be found in the separate OBO article on Anaphora.

                                                                                                                • Doron, Edit, and Malka Rappaport-Hovav. 1999. A unified approach to reflexivization in Semitic and Romance. Brill’s Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics 1:75–105.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1163/187666309X12491131130503Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  A uniform analysis of Semitic and Romance reflexivization as lexical operations.

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                                                                                                                  • Farmer, Ann, and Robert Harnish. 1987. Communicative reference with pronouns. In The pragmatic perspective. Edited by J. Verschueren and M. Bertucelli-Papi, 547–565. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                    Puts forward the influential Disjoint Reference Presumption (DRP), proposing that the arguments of a predicate are intended to be disjoint, unless marked otherwise.

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                                                                                                                    • König, Ekkehard. 2007. Vers une nouvelle typologie des marques réfléchies. In L’énoncé réfléchi. Edited by A. Rousseau, D. Bottineau, and D. Roulland, 107–130. Rennes, France: Presses Universitaires de Rennes.

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                                                                                                                      A crosslinguistic classification of reflexive forms according to morphological, syntactic, and semantic properties.

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                                                                                                                      • Lichtenberk, Frantisek. 1994. Reflexives and reciprocals. In The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 7. Edited by R. E. Asher, 3504–3509. Oxford: Pergamon.

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                                                                                                                        An excellent general introduction to the topic of reflexives vs. reciprocals, from a cross-linguistic viewpoint.

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                                                                                                                        Diachrony

                                                                                                                        The diachronic approach sheds light on the diversity of reflexive forms and the multifunctionality associated with them, tracing the relations between the various functions to historical processes. The works cited here focus on several patterns: grammaticalization processes (Schladt 1999); intensifier to reflexive (in English: König and Siemund 2000; van Gelderen 2000; Keenan 2002; crosslinguistically: König and Vezzosi 2004); the development of reflexive verbs (in French, Waltereit 1999; as well as Hatcher 1942; Stéfanini 1962; Mélis 1990 (all cited in Language-Specific Volumes); French reflexive to anticausative constructions (Heidinger 2010). Also relevant are the approaches to the reflexive/pronoun distinction discussed in Farmer and Harnish 1987 (cited in Typology), Levinson 1991, Huang 1994 (both cited in Functional and Pragmatic Approaches) and Huang 2000 (cited in Reference Works).

                                                                                                                        • Heidinger, Steffen. 2010. French anticausatives: A diachronic perspective. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1515/9783110251357Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          A study of the diachronic development of valency alternations, on the basis of the French causative and anticausative constructions.

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                                                                                                                          • Keenan, Edward. 2002. Explaining the creation of reflexive pronouns in English. In Studies in the history of the English language: A millennial perspective. Edited by D. Minkova and R. Stockwell, 325–355. Berlin and New York: Mouton De Gruyter.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1515/9783110197143Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            A detailed diachronic analysis of the development of English reflexives from Old English, relying primarily on non-linguistic processes rather than on grammaticalization.

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                                                                                                                            • König, Ekkehard, and Peter Siemund. 2000. The development of complex reflexives and intensifiers in English. Diachronica 17:39–84.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1075/dia.17.1.04konSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              The authors account for the diachronic analysis of the development of English anaphors through a synchronic analysis of intensifiers and a distinction of predicates as self-directed (prototypically coreferential) and other-directed (prototypically non-coreferential).

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                                                                                                                              • König, Ekkehard, and Letizia Vezzosi. 2004. The role of predicate meaning in the development of reflexivity. In What makes grammaticalization? A look from its fringes and its components. Edited by W. Bisang, N. Himmelman, and B. Wiemer, 213–244. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1515/9783110197440Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                An analysis of the development of reflexive anaphors through the grammaticalization of intensifiers, tracing the trigger to a distinction between other-directed and non-other-directed predicates.

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                                                                                                                                • Schladt, Mathias. 1999. The typology and grammaticalization of reflexives. In Reflexives: forms and functions. Edited by Z. Frajzyngier and T. Curl, 103–124. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                  An examination of the impact of regional factors on the grammaticalization of reflexives and the underlying cognitive and linguistic processes.

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                                                                                                                                  • Van Gelderen, Elly. 2000. A history of English reflexive pronouns: Person, self and interpretability. Linguistics Today 39. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                    A detailed analysis of the development of English reflexives from Old English, relying on rich data, that combines a historical approach and contemporary minimalist syntactic analysis, tracing the changes in English to parametric variation and the interpretability of features.

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                                                                                                                                    • Waltereit, Richard. 1999. What it means to deceive yourself: The semantic relation of French reflexive verbs and their corresponding transitive verbs. In Reflexives: Forms and functions. Edited by Z. Frajzyngier and T. Curl, 257–278. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                      An analysis of the semantic difference between transitive verbs and their reflexive counterparts through lexicalization and grammaticalization in French.

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                                                                                                                                      Issues at the Form and Meaning Interface

                                                                                                                                      The works cited in this section highlight further properties of reflexive constructions beyond co-reference. Verbal reflexive morphology has been argued to impact on argument structure, triggering valency reduction or augmentation. Some thematic-role restrictions seem specific to reflexives. Reflexive interpretation may involve metonymy or reference to proxies (in the sense of Safir 2004, cited in Structural Approaches).

                                                                                                                                      Reflexivity, Argument Structure, and Aspect

                                                                                                                                      The impacts of reflexive markers on syntax and interpretation have been widely shown to go beyond the mere co-reference of two co-arguments, and typically involve changes in argument structure and/or aspectual restrictions. This state of affairs is especially salient in Romance languages, where reflexive clitics may correlate with reflexive, reciprocal, causative, anticausative, (medio)passive, and “benefactive” interpretations. Aspectual effects are especially characteristic of anticausative and mediopassive readings.

                                                                                                                                      Valency Reduction and Aspect

                                                                                                                                      Many studies explore the assumption that reflexive morphosyntax triggers a valency reduction, which in some cases correlates with aspectual restrictions. Guéron 1991, Wehrli 1986, and Zribi-Hertz 1987 analyze valency reduction in French, Manzini 1986 provides an analysis of Italian, while Nishida 1994 and Marín and McNally 2011 address the issue in Spanish. Grimshaw 1982 and Reinhart and Siloni 2005 explore this issue from a cross-linguistic perspective. This topic is central in Geniušiene 1987 (cited in Crosslinguistic Volumes) and discussed in Reuland 2011 (cited in Structural Approaches).

                                                                                                                                      • Grimshaw, Jane. 1982. On the lexical representation of Romance reflexive clitics. In The mental representation of grammatical relations. Edited by J. Bresnan, 87–148. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

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                                                                                                                                        Studies romance reflexive clitics from the point of view of argument structure, bringing together their various semantic effects, and arguing that they globally trigger a valency reduction effect.

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                                                                                                                                        • Guéron, Jacqueline. 1991. Le clitique SE et la grammaire des pronoms indéfinis. In Grammaire générative et syntaxe comparée. Edited by J. Guéron and J. -Y. Pollock, 191–213. Paris: CNRS.

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                                                                                                                                          Develops a formal analysis of middle se, in French, which accounts for its effects on argument structure.

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                                                                                                                                          • Manzini, Rita. 1986. On Italian si. In The syntax of pronominal clitics. Syntax and Semantics 19. Edited by H. Borer, 241–262. New York: Academic.

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                                                                                                                                            This article presents a formal syntactic analysis of si-forms in Italian, based on the assumption that they generally involve a valency reduction.

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                                                                                                                                            • Marín, Rafael, and Louise McNally. 2011. Inchoativity, change of state and telicity: Evidence from Spanish reflexive verbs. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 29:467–502.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1007/s11049-011-9127-3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              A semantic analysis distinguishing inchoativity and telicity, on the basis of reflexive psychological verbs in Spanish.

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                                                                                                                                              • Nishida, Chiyo. 1994. The Spanish clitic reflexive se as an aspectual class marker. Linguistics 32:425–458.

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                                                                                                                                                Analyzes the reflexive clitic se in Spanish as a marker of quantitatively delimited situations in time or place.

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                                                                                                                                                • Reinhart, Tanya, and Tal Siloni. 2005. The lexicon-syntax parameter: Reflexivization and other arity operations. Linguistic Inquiry 36.3: 389–436.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1162/0024389054396881Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  A morphosyntactic account of the crosslinguistic formation of verbal reflexivization, reciprocalization, decausativization, and saturation, operations which involve alterations to the valency of a predicate.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Wehrli, Eric. 1986. On some properties of French clitic se. In Syntax and semantics 19: The syntax of pronominal clitics. Edited by H. Borer, 263–283. New York: Academic.

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                                                                                                                                                    Explores and works at formalizing the idea that the French clitic se globally tends to correlate with valency reduction.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Zribi-Hertz, Anne. 1987. La réflexivité érgative en Français moderne. Le Français moderne 55.1–2: 23–54.

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                                                                                                                                                      Brings out the regular syntax and semantics of what is now known as reflexive anticausatives, in French. Until that time anticausatives were not identified as a class of their own by French grammarians.

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                                                                                                                                                      Reflexive Forms and Valency Augmentation

                                                                                                                                                      In French and Spanish, reflexive forms conversely appear to correlate with valency augmentation. This assumption underlies the analysis of reflexive se in Spanish in Maldonado 1999, the analysis of passive and causative reflexives in French in Vet 1985, and the description of causative reflexives in French in Tasmowski and van Oevelen 1987.

                                                                                                                                                      • Maldonado, Ricardo. 1999. Conceptual distance and transitivity increase in Spanish reflexives. In Reflexives: Forms and functions. Edited by Z. Frajzyngier and T. Curl, 153–185. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                                        A monosemous analysis of the Spanish marker se as a middle marker, which focuses on the crucial moment of change in an event. The range of readings is derived through interaction with the properties of the focused verb.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Tasmowski, Liliane, and Hildegard van Oevelen. 1987. Le causatif pronominal. Revue romane 22.1: 40–58.

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                                                                                                                                                          Proposes a description and analysis of the se-faire construction, which is shown to be ambiguous between a dynamic (agentive) and a passive interpretation.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Vet, Co. 1985. Passive, reflexive, and causative predicate formation in French. In Predicates and terms in Functional Grammar. Edited by A. -M. Bolkestein, C. de Groot, and J. -L. Mackenzie, 49–69. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Foris.

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                                                                                                                                                            Addresses the changes to the argument positions producing passive, reflexive, and causative predicates in French. Vet argues that passive and some reflexive predicates stem from detransitivization rules, while a causative predicate is formed through the addition of another agent position.

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                                                                                                                                                            From Reflexive Morphosyntax to Interpretation

                                                                                                                                                            Various works examine the semantic restrictions on reflexive predicates. Wilkins 1988 shows that reflexive readings, in the narrow sense, abide by theta-role restrictions. Pesetsky 1987 addresses further special restrictions in the case of experimenter verbs. Zribi-Hertz 1978 and Jackendoff 1992 demonstrate that the semantic construal of reflexive internal arguments may involve some complexity, and they may fail to strictly co-refer with their binder. An enlightening discussion of this issue is found in Safir 2004 (cited in Structural Approaches). Whenever reflexive morphology is ambiguous, it is necessary to identify the factors that lead to the selection of one interpretation over the others—e.g. Langendoen and Magloire 2003 discusses the selection of a reflexive over a reciprocal reading; Zribi-Hertz 2008 addresses the choice of the mediopassive over the anticausative or the reflexive.

                                                                                                                                                            • Jackendoff, Ray. 1992. Mme. Tussaud meets the binding theory. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 10:1–33.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1007/BF00135357Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Focuses on examples as Ringo fell on himself, where himself denotes a statue or image of the subject referent. These constructions are problematic for binding theory as they are construed as non-coreferential. Jackendoff’s semantic solution is that binding can be a syntactic expression of an underlying conceptual relation.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Langendoen, Terence, and Joël Magloire. 2003. The logic of reflexivity and reciprocity. In Anaphora: A reference guide. Edited by A. Barss, 236–263. Oxford: Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                A detailed analysis of the interpretations of reflexives and reciprocals in plural contexts, showing the complexity of factors involved from the type of predicate to morphological aspects of reflexive and reciprocal marking.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Pesetsky, David. 1987. Binding problems with experiencer verbs. Linguistic Inquiry 18.1: 126–140.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Focuses on the apparent c-command violation involved in such English examples as stories about herself usually please Mary, accepted by some speakers. The proposed analysis calls upon the structural concept of connectivity, involving an abstract underlying structure where c-command is not violated.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Wilkins, Wendy. 1988. Thematic structure and reflexivization. In Syntax and semantics. Vol. 21, Thematic relations. Edited by Wendy Wilkins, 191–213. New York: Academic.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Contributes to a collective volume on thematic relations by focusing on those that are specifically relevant for the formation of reflexive predicates.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Zribi-Hertz, Anne. 1978. Economisons-nous: A propos d’une classe de formes réflexives métonymiques en Français. Langue française 39:104–128.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.3406/lfr.1978.6130Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Focuses on French reflexive forms whose reflexive pronoun is construed metonymically, as in economisons-nous, which means literally “let’s save up ourselves” = “let’s save our strength”—an option also open to non-reflexive pronouns, but sometimes specifically correlated with reflexive morphology.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Zribi-Hertz, Anne. 2008. Le médiopassif à accord riche en français: Pour une approche multifactorielle. Congrès mondial de linguistique Française. Edited by J. Durand, B. Habert, and B. Laks, no 227: 2645–2662.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1051/cmlf08083Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        An account of the eventive médiopassif comparing French and other Romance languages. The more restricted range of this construction in French is correlated with the specific restrictions on the syntactic subject, in this language.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Language Acquisition and Psycholinguistics

                                                                                                                                                                        Reflexivity has been addressed in many studies in first and second language acquisition since the 1980s and in a growing body of psycholinguistic studies, providing experimental evidence corroborating or countering various aspects of theoretical analyses, binding theory in particular. Jakubowicz 1984, Grodzinsky and Reinhart 1993, and Chien and Wexler 1990 address the discrepancy between the early acquisition of Principle A and the delayed acquisition of Principle B in first language acquisition. Burkhardt 2005; Runner, et al. 2006; and Clackson, et al. 2011 report experiments that confirm the significance of discourse factors in the processing of reflexives. Grodzinsky and Reinhart 1993 and Burkhardt 2005 incorporate studies on the processing of aphasia patients as well.

                                                                                                                                                                        • Burkhardt, Petra. 2005. The syntax-discourse interface: Representing and interpreting dependency. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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                                                                                                                                                                          An account of dependency relations, combining syntactic and discourse pragmatic factors with particular focus on anaphors, logophors, and pronouns. The theoretical approach is supported by a range of experiments.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Chien, Yu-Chin, and Ken Wexler. 1990. Children’s knowledge of locality conditions in binding as evidence for the modularity of syntax and pragmatics. Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics 1:225–295.

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                                                                                                                                                                            An interesting study showing that at a certain stage of acquisition, English-speaking children apply the locality condition on reflexives but allow coreference with pronouns (that are not bound variables). The authors conclude that the children know both principles and that the apparent discrepancy is due to additional pragmatic factors.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Clackson, Kaili, Claudia Felser, and Harald Clahsen. 2011. Children’s processing of reflexives and pronouns in English: Evidence from eye-movements during listening. Journal of Memory and Language 65.2: 128–144.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1016/j.jml.2011.04.007Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Examines the processing and interpretation of reflexives and pronouns in contexts with multiple prominent potential antecedents, showing that children tend to reach the same interpretations as adults but find potential antecedents more distracting than adults during processing.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Grodzinsky, Yosef, and Tanya Reinhart. 1993. The innateness of binding and coreference. Linguistic Inquiry 24:69–101.

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                                                                                                                                                                                An important study examining the discrepancy in acquisition between the binding of anaphors and pronouns, the latter acquired much later. The authors relate this to difficulties with pronouns in the language of agrammatic aphasics and argue that both result from limited processing resources.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Jakubowicz, Celia. 1984. On markedness and binding principles. In Proceedings of NELS 14. Edited by Charles Jones and Peter Sells, 154–182. Amherst: GLSA, Univ. of Massachusetts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the earliest studies on the acquisition of binding principles, showing that children obey the locality condition on reflexives but do not avoid co-reference with pronouns.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Runner, Jeffrey T., Rachel S. Sussman, and Michael K. Tanenhaus. 2006. Processing reflexives and pronouns in picture noun phrases. Cognitive Science 30.2: 193–241.

                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1207/s15516709cog0000_58Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    A study of binding in possessor picture noun phrases in several processing experiments, showing that reflexives in such constructions are not bound. Their results are also inconsistent with the assumption that binding theory restricts the referential domain at an early stage of processing.

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