Clause-Bounded Reflexives in Modern Icelandic

  • Joan Maling
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 5)


By far the most striking aspect of reflexivization in modern Icelandic is that it is not clause-bounded (Thráinsson 1976a, Maling 1982, 1984). But the purpose of this paper is to show that even clause-bounded reflexivization is not nearly as simple as the description of Icelandic reflexives in the literature would indicate (see, e.g., Thráinsson 1979, Harbert 1981).1 The distribution of reflexive pronouns within finite clauses shows clearly that any framework which does not recognize predication relationships cannot hope to account for the differences between various kinds of simplex sentences with respect to reflexivization. Furthermore, since there are phrasal complements which cannot plausibly be derived from full clauses but which nonetheless exhibit the same pattern of reflexives as infinitival complements, the reflexive facts alone cannot be taken to justify a clausal analysis of infinitives.


Reflexive Pronoun Small Clause Matrix Subject Scandinavian Language Finite Clause 
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© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

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  • Joan Maling

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