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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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Chapter 3: Some remarks on the history of SELF pronouns

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Chapter 3 Some remarks on the history of SELF pronouns 3.1 Introduction The previous two chapters presented two complementary views on SELF pronouns – as bound anaphors and as ‘locally free’ emphatics / intensifiers. The answer to the question why English uses homophonous forms to deal with two distinct phenomena is attributed to the historical development of the SELF pronoun as a reflexive marker out of an emphatic form (cf. Farr (1905), Mitchell (1979, 1985), Ogura (1989), Peitsara (1997), van Gelderen (2000) and others). This chapter presents a brief history of the development of the SELF pronoun as a marker of reflexivity through a gradual extension of its original function as an intensifying form. The following stages of the development are assumed: (1) Old English (OE) SELF is an adjective 42 used for emphasis. The instances that could be interpreted as reflexive SELF in Old English are rare. (2) In Middle English (ME) the primary function of SELF is still emphasis. In potentially reflexive contexts it alternates with a personal pronoun (referred to also as a simple pronoun) without losing its emphatic character. At the same time the form is reclassified as a noun. (3) From the Early Modern English (EModE) times the SELF pronoun functions as the dominating (if not exclusive) marker of reflexivity, with the incidence of simple pronouns used as reflexives rapidly diminishing. At this time the emphatic character of SELF is no longer obvious in bound environments; in non-bound reflexive contexts SELF retains its emphatic character. The...

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