The typology of reflexives

Author : Emma Geniusiené

Publication date : 1987

Bibliographical references :

Geniusiené, Emma. 1987. The Typology of Reflexives. Empirical approaches to language typology 2. Berlin, New York, Amsterdam: Mouton de Gruyter.


"There are very few overall descriptions of RVs [(reflexive verbs)] in particular languages, and even these are not always comparable and sometimes confusing, as they are presented within different frameworks. Therefore, there is a need for obtaining a wider range of comparable data on RVs from a greater variety of languages. This questionnaire aims at extending the framework proposed in this book to RVs of other languages and thus promoting the investigation of RVs in particular languages in order to help collect the data for further typological and universals research into RVs." (Geniusiené, 1987: 361).

Protocol summary

"When answering the questions concerning particular RV types it is important to be as explicit about their non-existence, as about their existence in a language. The list of questions is tentative, and the data of a particular language may require discussing relevant points or aspects overlooked in the questionnaire, which is meant as a guide and need not be followed to the letter. [...] This questionnaire is in a way an autonomous part of the book which can be used without a preliminary study of the previous chapters. To facilitate its independent use, some repetitions are made and examples supplied, the references to the body of the book being given to assist the reader in finding the details." (Geniusiené, 1987: 361-362).

The framework of the questionnaire is as follows:

1. The morphology of reflexive markers
2. Morphological classification of reflexives
3. Syntactic classification of reflexives
4. Semantic classification of reflexives
5. Semantic reflexiva tantum
6. Denominal reflexives
7. Is the RM used in any other functions besides those covered by the questions above ?
8. the evolution of reflexives

Development context

"This questionnaire is meant to supplement Comrie and Smith's (1977: 21—24) questionnaire concerned with semantic reflexivity and reciproc- ity, two of the meanings frequently rendered by RVs across languages. Our concern is with reflexive markers (RMs), their range of functions, existence and non-existence of particular RV types, the universal and language-specific properties of RV systems and existing RV types, and also with rivalling strategies used to express the meanings that can be rendered by RVs."  (Geniusiené, 1987: 361).

It can be found from page 361, in Geniusiené's book The Typology of Reflexives (1987).

Back to the previous page