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Reflexive (was Re: Help on Verbs...)

From:Theodore Kloba <ted.kloba@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 27, 1999, 12:03
Nik Taylor wrote:

> > Reflexive and reciprocative are two others. > > Reflexive means that the subject acts on him/herself, like "He killed > himself", it's similar to middle, and I'm not clear exactly what the > difference is.
It does seem that reflexive and middle voice are very similar. I think it depends on the way it's constructed ina particular language. Reflexive also occurs in some natural languages in constructions that would be active voice in English. Some IE Examples: "He is bored." French "Il s'ennui" - He bores himself. "I'm afraid of you." Russian "Ya vas boyus'" - I fear myself of you. "I study." Lithuanian "As~ mokausi" - I study myself (?!?) Note that all three of these languages have a reflexive pronoun: se/sebya/save (They don't have a nominative case-- accusative is given). The Fr. example uses that pronoun (reduced to s' here), but the Ru. & Lt. verbs add a verbal suffix after the conjugated verb, s' in Russian, si in Lithuanian.
> > Reciprocative is like reflexive, except it can only be used with plural > subjects and means that the subjects are acting *on each other*, like > "They killed each other" (compare "they killed themselves)
In the above three languages, I think reflexive would still be used. -- Theodore M. Kloba