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Self-based Anaphora in Early Modern English

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Ewa Kucelman

This book is a corpus-based study which aims to describe the class of self-pronouns as used in the Early Modern English period. Self-pronouns are presented as a multi-functional class, with two main functions, as emphatic forms and as reflexive markers. The emphatic function is seen as a continuation of an earlier state of affairs, whereas the reflexive function is described as a new, emerging one. As reflexive markers, self-pronouns in Early Modern English compete with personal pronouns. Therefore the book seeks to present the conditions of their distribution ranging from configurational and thematic through discursive to pragmatic factors involved in the choice of the reflexive strategy.

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2: Pragmatic approaches to SELF pronouns

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Chapter 2 Pragmatic approaches to SELF pronouns 2.1 Introduction As was shown in Chapter 1, English SELF pronouns are to a large extent subject to the binding condition A. On the other hand, there are certain contexts in which SELF pronouns, although perfectly acceptable to native speakers, are applied in a way that does not conform to the requirements set for them by BT. At the same time, the Binding Theory, as devised and elaborated on by Chomsky, serves very well to describe the English anaphors and pronominals, yet some other languages, even those belonging to the Germanic language family, seem to have a different system of principles governing the distribution of various nominal expressions. This has led to certain modifications of the standard binding theory, among which is the proposal that, instead of one type of A-binding, anaphoric expressions can be classified as belonging to one of three distinct A-binding domains – short, medium and long-distance binding. Short-distance anaphora does not present any challenge to the Binding Theory; the remaining two types, however, often cannot be successfully dealt with without recourse to other descriptive tools. In the case of locally free SELF pronouns discursive factors might prove to be the main justification of their use. Therefore, the question arises to what extent discursive factors determine the use of SELF pronouns, with the related uncertainty concerning the status of all SELF elements as a homogenous category (most frequently referred to as reflexive pronouns). Since there are structures where SELF pronouns are...

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