The importance of reflexive markers in the study of language
structure cannot be underestimated: they participate in the coding
of the argument structure of a clause; in the coding of semantic
relations between arguments and verbs; in the coding of the
relationship between arguments; in the coding of aspect; in the
coding of point of view; and in the Coding of the information
structure of a clause.The present volume offers an approach to
reflexive forms and functions from several perspectives: a formal
approach where reflexives are discussed within a well-defined model
of language representation; a typological approach; a historical
approach concentrating on grammaticalization of reflexives and on
the changes that pronouns and anaphors undergo; and a functionalist
approach where functions of reflexive forms are described. The
languages from which data were drawn represent a wide variety of
language families and language types: English, Old English, Dutch,
German, Tsakhur (Nakh-Dagestanian), Spanish, French, Bantu and
Chadic languages. The variety of languages discussed and the
different approaches taken complement each other in that each
contributes an important piece to the understanding of reflexives
in a cross-linguistic perspective.
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