A History of English Reflexive Pronouns: Person, Self, and Interpretability
This book brings together a number of seemingly distinct phenomena in the history of English: the introduction of special reflexive pronouns (e.g. myself), the loss of verbal agreement and pro-drop, and the disappearance of morphological Case. It provides vast numbers of examples from Old and Middle English texts showing a person split between first, second, and third person pronouns. Extending an analysis by Reinhart & Reuland, the author argues that the 'strength' of certain pronominal features (Case, person, number) differs cross-linguistically and that parametric variation accounts for the changes in English. The framework used is Minimalist, and Interpretable and Uninterpretable features are seen as the key to explaining the change from a synthetic to an analytic language.
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13th century accusative form adjective anaphorically argue bcet Beowulf Caligula century Chain Condition Chapter Chaucer checked Chomsky clitics constructions Cursor Mundi dative direct object Early Middle English emphatic ending evidence Exeter function reflexively Gawain Gelderen genitive grammaticalization him-ACC hine Idem indicate inflection inherent instances Junius Katherine Group languages later Layamon Lindisfarne Lindisfarne Gospels Mercian Modern English modify morphological nominative noun number features occur Old English Otho overt passives pcet person and number person features person reflexives person split possibly reflexive prepositional object pro-drop pronominal reduced inflection referential reflexive pronoun reflexive verbs Reinhart & Reuland Rushworth second person plural second person pronouns second person singular self-ACC selfan selfum sentences simple pronouns special accusative specially marked structural sylf sylfne third person pronouns third person singular Uninterpretable features verb-movement verbal agreement Vespasian Psalter Visser West Saxon word order