reflexives in S. Slavonic
gil at EVA.MPG.DE
Sat Dec 5 20:30:36 UTC 1998
A few days ago I asked if any speakers of Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian or
Bulgarian would be willing to answer a few questions. The response was
excellent -- proving, once again, what a wonderful medium email is, and
what a useful list LINGTYP is.
Since some of the people who responded, and some other people too, were
curious as to why I was asking these questions, I promised I'd post a
summary on the list -- which is appended below.
Thanks to Zlatka Guentcheva, Marko Popovic, Ljuba Veselinova and Relja
Vulanovic for their prompt and helpful responses.
REFLEXIVES AND FOCUS PARTICLES
IN SERBO-CROATIAN AND BULGARIAN
I am in the middle of writing a paper on a particular form in Riau
Indonesian, the word "sendiri". This word has the following 7
eg. "John shot HIMSELF"
eg. "John and Mary hugged EACH OTHER"
eg. "John can solve the problem BY HIMSELF / WITHOUT HELP
eg. "John came to the party BY HIMSELF / ALONE
eg. "ONLY John came to the party"
eg. "John is the tallEST student in the class"
(7) emphatic / intensive
eg. "The president HIMSELF / EVEN the president came to the party"
I am interested in finding examples from other languages of forms
sharing a similar semantic range, and had read about the form "sam-" in
Southern Slavonic languages -- hence my query.
Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian each have three reflexive formatives,
"sebe", "se/si", and "sam-". In a rare show of unanimity, all four
persons who responded -- two for Serbo-Croatian and two for Bulgarian,
characterized their distribution identically, as follows:
function (1) only
functions (1), (2)
functions (1), (3), (4), (5), (7), with the proviso that in (1), it
cannot mark the reflexive by itself, but only in conjunction with one of
the preceding two markers, as a reinforcing element.
Department of Linguistics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Inselstrasse 22, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
Email: gil at eva.mpg.de
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