Sylwia Pielecha University of Warsaw “Reflexivity in Ælfric’s Lives of Saints: A Corpus Study.”
The main goal of this paper is to propose a new approach to the semantic classes of reflexive constructions in Ælfric’s Lives of Saints. Before analyzing the corpus data, the study tries to explain what reflexivity actually means and how it is described by various scholars on the semantic level. It also examines the most common technique conveying reflexivity: constructions involving the use of the Old English personal pronouns, sometimes followed by a proper form of –self (Penning 1875; Farr 1905; Mitchell 1985; van Gelderen 2000). However, in addition to truly reflexive meaning, Old English personal pronouns could render other meanings. For instance, they could express a situation in which the Agent is not the Patient but its benefactor. Moreover, they could accompany pseudo-reflexive verbs, i.e. verbs used with an inanimate Subject. Also, personal pronouns could be used to express reciprocity. Last, they were employed to express a situation in which the Agent was not also a typical Patient, but its presence was essential for the completion of an action.