Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 17:39:15 -0500

From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: Don Nelson puts behind


Can't buy it. Clause-mates ought to trigger reflexives.

For example, in 'John moved the skunk away from himself,' the skunk is the

target of the moving (not John), and 'him' would not be coreferential.

I still find it odd and still think that the metaphoric sense is related to

the variation.


John put the skunk behind himself


John put the argument behind him.

I can't reverse the pronouns (and still keep the coreferential).


On Fri, 17 Nov 1995, Dennis R. Preston wrote:

How about the other funny business in this sentence? Since the 'him' (in 1

above, a completely grammatical sentence) is a clause-mate to 'Nelson,' why

isn't it reflexive? *Nelson put this chapter behind himself. Could this odd

fact have anything to do with the fact that the locative is predicted by

'put' but here has an obligatory temporal metaphoric reading?


It's not reflexive because the action is not directed toward Nelson,

himself. Rather the action is directed and focused upon the "chapter".

So, in that regard, the sentence seems to be correct. Still, it does

read a little weird, but I wonder if I see as such due to Beth's initial

post. Did she taint my perception of what may simply be a strange

sounding sentence?

Jus' wondrin'

Bob Haas

University of North Carolina at Greensboro