Date: Sun, 19 Nov 1995 02:07:12 -0500
From: Bob Haas rahaas[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]HAMLET.UNCG.EDU
Subject: Re: Don Nelson puts behind
Perhaps clause-mates ought to trigger reflexives, but that's not how they
work. According to _The New Lexicon Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary_
(1992) the definition of reflexive reads: "denoting an action by the
subject upon itself, e.g. of a verb whose subject and direct object are
the same ('dressed' in 'he dressed himself'), or of a pronoun which is
the object of such a verb ('himself' in 'he dressed himself') . . . (837).
Therefore, your example doesn't quite seem to apply. In "John put the
skunk behind himself" himself is not called for. The more correct
pronoun, him, is the object of the preposition. It would seem to more
dative that accusitive, but besides worrying about the labels, it seems
to me that most readers would understand that "him" refers to John and
not the skunk. Why would he move the skunk behind itself?
Finally, John must be careful because if the skunk in question has not
been descented, John will end up washing himself in tomato juice. Not
that that particular remedy is all that effective.
While your ideas about clause-mates are interesting, I'm not quite ready
to buy them. I would enjoy a response, though.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
rahaas[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]hamlet.uncg.edu
On Sat, 18 Nov 1995, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
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.
John put the skunk behind himself
John put the argument behind him.