Strategies of Reflexivisation and the Meaning of Predicates

A Contrastive Analysis of English, German, and French

by Andreas Frühwirth (Author)
©2003 Thesis XVIII, 333 Pages


Reflexive situations play a vital role in people’s lives and are consequently often encoded by specific grammatical devices. Many languages have more than one such strategy of reflexivisation at their disposal. The present study provides substantial evidence for its major claim that the preference for a particular strategy is motivated by that meaning component of the predicate which may be called ‘directedness’. A large number of data from English, German, and French are analysed contrastively and in great detail. The relevance of predicate directedness is also largely confirmed by data from related areas of reflexivity. Two implicational hierarchies emerge: a scale of directedness, and a hierarchy among German, French, and English regarding the weight of preferred reflexive strategies.


XVIII, 333
ISBN (Softcover)
Englisch Prädikat Reflexivierung Markiertheit Deutsch Französisch Reflexivität Motivation Prädikatsbedeutung Reflexierungsstrategien
Frankfurt/M., Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2003. XVIII, 333 pp., num. fig. and tables

Biographical notes

Andreas Frühwirth (Author)

The Author: Andreas Frühwirth is assistant lecturer in English Linguistics at Aachen University of Technology. He studied English, French, and Linguistics at the Universities of Augsburg (D), Reading (GB), the Freie Universität Berlin (D), and Manchester (GB). From 1991 to 1992 he taught German as a foreign language at different schools in Blois (F), and from 1994 to 1996 at the University of Hertfordshire (GB). In 1998 he received his European Master’s Degree in Linguistics, and in 2003 his Ph.D.


Title: Strategies of Reflexivisation and the Meaning of Predicates