The polyfunctional nature of reflexivization as attested across Slavic languages has been challenging linguists for a long time, both as a general Slavic phenomenon and within individual languages. Existing proposals have been largely motivated by the desire to find an invariant function for the reflexive morpheme, but such attempts inevitably become too reductionist to fully account for all the facts, whether we aim for a syntactic definition (e.g. Jakobson 1957), or for a purely semantic/conceptual model (Janda 1993). This paper argues for an analysis in which both formal and semantic/pragmatic properties are taken into consideration as equally important in understanding the essence of the relevant data.
The empirical focus of this study are three fully productive reflexivization patterns in Czech:
– (in)animacy of the agent
– (in)ability to contain an instrumental phrase
– indefiniteness vs. genericity of the suppressed agent
– modal interpretation
– distribution of aspect
– role of exclamative prosody as a coding strategy (in the dispositional pattern)
– inherent verb semantics.
We can then draw a
The analysis and representation are carried out within the framework of Construction Grammar (e.g. Fillmore 1989, 1999), whose basic unit of analysis is a
1 Sudy se plnily pivem tak, zhe...
'This is how one filled the barrels with beer...'
2 Studna se naplnila vodou
'The well got filled with water.'
3 Tyhle sudy se vam budou plnit líp
'These barrels will be easier for you to fill.'
Fillmore, Charles J. (1989). "Grammatical Construction Theory and the familiar dichotomies." In Language processing in social context, ed. by R. Dietrich & C.F. Graumann. Amsterdam: North–Holland/Elsevier. 17–38.
—. (1999). "Inversion and constructional inheritance." In Lexical and constructional aspects of linguistic explanation, ed. by Gert Webelhuth, Jean–Pierre Koenig & Andreas Kathol. Stanford, Ca: CSLI. 113–128.
Jakobson, Roman. (1957). Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb. Cambridge, Mass.: Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University.
Janda, Laura A. (1993). "The semantics of Russian and Czech Reflexives." In American Contributions to the Eleventh International Congress of Slavists, Bratislava.
Panevova, Jarmila. (1973). "Vety se vsheobecnym konatelem (Sentences with generic agents)." Studia Slavica Pragensia: 133–144.