By Volker Gast
English self-forms and comparable phrases from different Germanic languages (e.g. Dutch zelf, Swedish själv, etc.) are utilized in diverse services: as ‘intensifiers’ (e.g. The president himself made the decision) and as markers of reflexivity (John criticized himself). at the foundation of a comparative syntactic and semantic research, this publication addresses the query of why such it appears varied services could be expressed by way of a similar be aware. this question is responded via displaying that either intensifying and reflexive self-forms should be analysed as expressing the idea that of ‘identity’.
In the 1st a part of The Grammar of Identity, the main principal evidence in regards to the distribution of intensifiers in Germanic languages are surveyed and an in depth syntactic and semantic research is supplied. it's proven that each one situations of intensifiers will be analysed as expressions of an id functionality. the second one a part of the publication bargains an research of reflexive self-forms that is in keeping with fresh theories of reflexivity, enhancing those in a few vital respects. specifically, the distribution of reflexive self-forms is defined with regards to semantic homes of the sentential surroundings. during this manner, it may be proven that reflexive self-forms – like intensifiers – should be analysed as expressions of an identification functionality. as well as supplying an intensive comparative description of the hitherto poorly defined zone of intensifiers in Germanic languages, this publication bargains a solution to a protracted status query in descriptive and theoretical linguistics, particularly why self-forms are utilized in it appears assorted services. by way of combining analytical tools from syntax, lexical semantics and sentence semantics the research furthermore contributes to an figuring out of the interplay among constitution, which means and context in a vital region of lexico-grammar.
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English self-forms and similar phrases from different Germanic languages (e. g. Dutch zelf, Swedish själv, and so forth. ) are utilized in diversified features: as ‘intensifiers’ (e. g. The president himself made the choice) and as markers of reflexivity (John criticized himself). at the foundation of a comparative syntactic and semantic research, this ebook addresses the query of why such it sounds as if assorted capabilities may be expressed via a similar note.
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Extra info for The Grammar of Identity: Intensifiers and Reflexives in Germanic Languages (Routledge Studies in Germanic Linguistics)
En but að lokum sagði hann við [sjálf-an sig]: … finally said he PREP SELF-ACC ANPH: … ‘But finally he said to himself:…’ [IceBib Luke 18, 4] As has been seen, head-adjacent intensifier constructions in Germanic languages can be classified along two dimensions: first, the intensifiers may either precede or follow the head DP; second, they may either show inflection (adjectival/weak or strong, in English pronominal), or they may be invariant (as in Danish and Dano-Norwegian). Invariant intensifiers are particularly widespread in Continental West Germanic (cf.
The intensifiers of both Old Norse and Modern Icelandic always show strong inflection, thus differing from Gothic silba and Old English self. The distribution and morphology of head-adjacent self 27 Icelandic a. MASC] Jóhannes 10:… in John 10:… 20 ‘What did Jesus himself say in John 10:…’ [www] b. En But hvar er [sjálfur Jesús]…? MASC Jesus]…? ’ [www] A similar situation obtains in modern Mainland Scandinavian languages. However, there is a crucial difference. In Mainland Scandinavian, the two alternative constructions correlate with differences in the inflectional behaviour of the intensifier.
17 Gothic a. MASC David] says in book Psalm ‘David himself declares in the book of Psalms:…’ [Wf. Luke 20, 42] b. MASC father] loves you ‘…for the father himself loves you…’ [Wf. John 16, 27] In Old English, head-adjacent intensifiers are generally postposed and exhibit strong/indefinite inflection, but there are some exceptions. g. he sylfa in [Beo 29], as opposed to the ‘more usual’ heo sylf in [BlHom 13, 26]; cf. Mitchell 1985:188). 18 As will be seen below, such morpho-syntactic variation is not uncommon in the intensifier constructions of Germanic languages.
The Grammar of Identity: Intensifiers and Reflexives in Germanic Languages (Routledge Studies in Germanic Linguistics) by Volker Gast