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Reflexive & Reciprocal Marked on the Ver

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 17:14
On Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 18:38, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote:
> However, this system can't tell "reflexive" apart from "reciprocal". > > That is, "Jack and Jill (each) kissed themselves" and "Jack and Jill kissed each > other" have the same agreement-markers on the verb. > > How do your 'langs (whether nat- or con-) handle this? > Do they just not distinguish "reflexive" from "reciprocal"? > Do they distinguish it by marking the verb with, say, a "voice" > or "version" of "reflexive" or "reciprocal" (not the same)? > Or do they mark the difference elsewhere in the clause, say by either a > reflexive pronoun or a reciprocal pronoun or both?
German has a separate reciprocal pronoun: "Sie küssten einander" is "They kissed one-another". However, "Sie küssten sich" is ambiguous between "They kissed themselves" and "They kissed one another". If you want to disambiguate, "Sie küssten sich selbst" would probably be understood as "They kissed themselves", though it could also mean "They themselves kissed one another" or "They kissed one another by themselves [without assistance]". (And "Sie selbst küssten sich" is ambiguous as to ends up getting kissed and also ambiguous between "they themselves" and "they, by themselves".) Modern Greek, as far as I know, typically keeps it ambiguous with its mediopassive voice - "O Tzak kai i Tzil filiountan" can, I think, mean either. MG does have a reciprocal pronoun, though: "O Tzak kai i Tzil filousan allilous", though I'm not sure how commonly used it is. And a more explicit construction: "O Tzak kai i Tzil filousan o enas ton allo" (Literally, "The Jack and the Jill kissed the.NOM one.NOM the.ACC other.ACC".) Klingon, which marks subject and object on verbs, also has suffixes for reflexive and reciprocal -- separate ones, so you can distinguish between {chop'egh jaq jIl je} "Jack and Jill bit themselves" (with the verb marked for 3p subject and no object, though the marker for that -- the zero morpheme -- also encodes several other S/O possibilities) and {chopchuq jaq jIl je} "Jack and Jill bit one another". (In each case, one could also translate with the present "bite" rather than "bit", since Klingon marks aspect, not tense.) For, say, first person, the sentences would be {machop'egh} "We bit ourselves" and {machopchuq} "we bit one another", with {ma-} encoding 1p subject and no object. Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>