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“You can just give those documents to myself’: Untriggered reflexive pronouns in 21st century spoken British English

Paterson, Laura (2018). “You can just give those documents to myself’: Untriggered reflexive pronouns in 21st century spoken British English. In: Brezina, Vaclav; Love, Robbie and Aijmer, Karin eds. Corpus Approaches to Contemporary British Speech. Sociolinguistic Studies of the Spoken (BNC2014). Abingdon: Routledge.

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Abstract

Reflexive pronouns, such as myself, yourself, themselves, require a coreferent noun phrase (NP) to fulfil their syntactic criteria. In ‘The cat washes herself’, the subject NP and the reflexive pronoun correspond to the same entity and share a syntactic bond. However, despite the apparent constraints on reflexive pronouns, they can occur without a coreferent NP in some varieties of English. In the example, ‘You can just give those documents to myself’, the subject pronoun and the reflexive pronoun cannot be coreferent: they are expressions of different grammatical persons and must have different real-world referents. When reflexive pronouns occur in these types of constructions, they are labelled untriggered. This chapter investigates the use of untriggered reflexives in 21st century spoken British English. It considers both whether the use of untriggered reflexives correlates with social variables, such as sex, location, social class, and age, and whether untriggered reflexives occur in particular syntactic environments. The analysis provides a snapshot of current usage and facilitates comparison with the (limited) existing corpus-based research of this grammatical feature.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2018 Routledge
ISBN: 1-138-28727-X, 978-1-138-28727-3
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
CASS ESRC Fellowship58021616ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > English Language & Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 52960
Depositing User: Laura L Paterson
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2018 10:49
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2019 04:07
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/52960
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