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|Title:||Reflexive - Middle and Reciprocal - Middle Continua in Romanian|
|Authors:||Calude, Andreea S|
|Abstract:||In Romanian, the middle marker se is employed to encode five distinct situation types: reflexive, reciprocal, (medio-)passive, inchoative and impersonal. The principal aim of the present research is to identify the relationships among the different uses of the marker and to put forward explanations for them within a cognitive framework. The discussion presented is limited to the semantic properties of middles. This work provides an insight into Romanian itself, as well as a contribution to theoretical accounts of middle systems in general. Following theories developed by Faltz (1985), Geniusien? (1987), Haiman (1983), Kemmer (1993), Maldonado (1992) and Manney (2000), a synchronic account of the Romanian Middle Domain is given. Our findings show that the semantic property of low elaboration of events (introduced by Kemmer 1993) constitutes the common denominator among the different uses explored. For instance, the Romanian middle construction: (1) Copilul se piapt?n?. child MIDDLE brushes ‘The child brushes (her/his hair).’ involves low elaboration since the event expressed exhibits relatively low distinguishability of participants, the Patient is backgrounded, and the verb (se piept?na ‘brush one’s hair’) denotes what is typically a self-directed event. One innovative aspect of the research concerns the uncovering of formal and semantic continua between certain Romanian middles situation types, namely natural reflexives and natural reciprocals, and their non-middle counterparts (prototypical reflexives and prototypical reciprocals, respectively). This sheds light on the interaction between the various middle categories comprising the Middle Domain for the case of Romanian and raises several open questions regarding middle systems cross-linguistically, such as: do any other middle systems exhibit continua among their middle categories, and, if so, which middle types are they and are these the same as the ones found in Romanian?|
|Type of Work:||Conference Proceedings|
|Appears in Collections:||ALS 2004|
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