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Dissolving Binding Theory$
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Johan Rooryck and Guido Vanden Wyngaerd

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691326

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691326.001.0001

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The Semantics of Simplex and Complex Reflexives: the Case of zich and zichzelf

The Semantics of Simplex and Complex Reflexives: the Case of zich and zichzelf

(p.188) 6 The Semantics of Simplex and Complex Reflexives: the Case of zich and zichzelf
Dissolving Binding Theory

Johan Rooryck

Guido Vanden Wyngaerd

Oxford University Press

This chapter is concerned with the semantics of simplex and complex reflexives. It argues that simple reflexive zich represents a spatiotemporal stage of its antecedent. The notion of temporal stage is couched in terms of the I-Subject/Concept terminology introduced by Coppieters (1982) and Bouchard (1995). The theoretical relevance of spatiotemporal stages is illustrated by a fine-grained analysis of reflexive-inchoative verbs that feature zich with inanimate subjects. The peculiar Binding properties of psych verbs can be explained in terms of this semantic notion. As for the semantics of complex reflexives, they are able to occur in dissociation contexts, unlike simplex reflexives. These semantic properties are related to the specific syntax of both kinds of elements.

Keywords:   semantics, simplex reflexive, complex reflexive, spatiotemporal stage, antecedent, I-Subject/Concept, reflexive-inchoative verbs, inanimate subjects, dissociation

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