A history of English reflexive pronouns : person, self, and by Elly van Gelderen

By Elly van Gelderen

This publication brings jointly a few possible designated phenomena within the historical past of English: the creation of specific reflexive pronouns (e.g. myself), the lack of verbal contract and pro-drop, and the disappearance of morphological Case. It presents monstrous numbers of examples from previous and heart English texts exhibiting anyone cut up among first, moment, and 3rd individual pronouns. Extending an research by Read more...

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E. there is no argument marked by self. This means that Reinhart & Reuland’s Condition on Predicates does not apply. The Chain Condition does, however. I will show that, in Old English, the Chain Condition is relevant with respect to Case features, and in Middle English, with respect to person and number features. The question then arises if the Condition on Predicates can be reduced to the Chain Condition for other languages as well. I argue it can for Modern English, for example, if one considers forms such as myself unspecified for person features, and hence unable to be referential.

4 So, Reinhart & Reuland’s theory contains both a condition on predicates and one on arguments. e. there is no argument marked by self. This means that Reinhart & Reuland’s Condition on Predicates does not apply. The Chain Condition does, however. I will show that, in Old English, the Chain Condition is relevant with respect to Case features, and in Middle English, with respect to person and number features. The question then arises if the Condition on Predicates can be reduced to the Chain Condition for other languages as well.

Some verbs only occur with a reflexive object, and some are reflexive but occur without an object. Verbs that only have a reflexive object can start to take non-reflexive objects as well, and reflexive objects can disappear while the verb retains the ‘reflexive’ meaning. I focus on verbs where the reflexive object is expressed. In Indo-European, a reflexive is used for all persons (cf. ). Its reconstructed form, indicated by ‘*’, is *s(w). In Germanic, this becomes *sik ‘self-’ (as it still is in, for instance, Modern Yiddish) and *sis ‘self-’.

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