Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 13:28:05 EST From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: reflexives In connection with the below: Just a short observation, since the long answer would take a dissertation (or two): grammarians find it useful to distinguish reflexives from other anaphoric expressions on formal grounds. In English, reflexives all have the form "X-self"; other (pronominal) expressions may occur in the same syntactic frame with the same referential interpretation (i.e., as coreferential to the antecedent), but are not reflexive if they do not have the "X-self" shape. That way we can talk about whether a given speaker or a given dialect allows or requires a reflexive in a context like "I'm gonna get {me/myself} a beer" or "John complained to me about that story about {him [= John]/himself}". Briefly, reflexives and non-reflexive pronouns tend to show up in comple- mentary distribution (where you get one, you don't get the other) as markers of coreference, the distinction defined by whether the anaphor and antecedent are in the same minimal domain, e.g. within the same clause (I shaved {myself/*me}, I want you to shave {me/*myself}). But various other semantic and stylistic factors play a role as well, as the cases below (and the variation governing them) show. A recent discussion in American Speech is worth consulting: Parker et al. (1990), "Untriggered reflexive pronouns in English", Am. Sp. 65: 50-69. Hope this helps. ----------------------------Original message---------------------------- In a message dated 11/2/97 3:15:45 PM, you wrote: <> I have noticed this too.... Michael Lane, a southerner from Arkansas, might say, "fix you some greens?" Is that what you mean? Since I am not a trained linguist, I am interested in knowing how you define a reflexive. Any short answers on that subject appreciated.