On 29 August Mária Vasiľová (Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS) will defend her PhD thesis in which she analyses reflexivization in English, Slovak, Hungarian, Italian, Dutch, Polish and Romanian, focusing on the role of the morpheme -self and its counterparts in these languages. She finds that these languages show similar or identical patterns within the domain of reflexivitity, despite the fact that these languages represent four different language families.
The study concentrates on the positions of self, in which it fulfils the function of a reflexive marker, and primarily on compounds that have a ‘reflexive’ interpretation (self-control in English, Eigenlob/Selbstlob ‘self-praise’ in German, autodérision ‘self-derision’ in French, or önbecsülés ‘self-esteem’ in Hungarian).
This study combines, in essence, two methods, while both of them concentrate on language comparison. Contrastive linguistics and linguistic typology represent similar approaches towards languages, and the work uses elements from both to find out whether it is possible to identify similar or identical strategies of reflexivization on the lexical level as on the syntactic one.
The analysis of the English, Slovak, Hungarian, Italian, Romanian, Polish and Dutch SELF-compounds points out several common features. Even though these languages represent four different language families their features within the domain of reflexivity and reflexive nominal compounds show similar or identical properties.
SELF-compounds within the problem of reflexivization
These compounds represent a very interesting topic within the problem of reflexivization and reflexivizing strategies, since the meanings of the SELF- element may vary within the compound, and represent different syntactic structures. The analysis of SELF-compounds also suggests that every language uses a wide range of verb categories within their derivatives.