The Semantics of Simplex and Complex Reflexives: the Case of <i>zich</i> and <i>zichzelf</i>

Johan Rooryck and Guido Vanden Wyngaerd

in Dissolving Binding Theory

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199691326
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731785 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

The Semantics of Simplex and Complex Reflexives: the Case of zich and zichzelf

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This chapter is concerned with the semantics of simplex and complex reflexives. It argues that simple reflexive zich represents a spatiotemporal stage of its antecedent. The notion of temporal stage is couched in terms of the I-Subject/Concept terminology introduced by Coppieters (1982) and Bouchard (1995). The theoretical relevance of spatiotemporal stages is illustrated by a fine-grained analysis of reflexive-inchoative verbs that feature zich with inanimate subjects. The peculiar Binding properties of psych verbs can be explained in terms of this semantic notion. As for the semantics of complex reflexives, they are able to occur in dissociation contexts, unlike simplex reflexives. These semantic properties are related to the specific syntax of both kinds of elements.

Keywords: semantics; simplex reflexive; complex reflexive; spatiotemporal stage; antecedent; I-Subject/Concept; reflexive-inchoative verbs; inanimate subjects; dissociation

Chapter.  15808 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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