Reflexivizers and intensifiers: consequences for a theory of focus

  • Giorgos Spathas


English reflexive anaphors in focus have been shown to give rise to two different kinds of alternatives; subject- and object-alternatives. Spathas (2010) argues that the existence of subject-alternatives forces a treatment of reflexive anaphors in terms of reflexivizing functions. This paper establishes the two major generalizations that cover the distribution of subjectalternatives and argues for a theory of focus that (i) is built on a question-based discourse model (Roberts 1996, Büring 2003, Beaver and Clark 2008), and (ii) is intermediate, i.e. association with focus is conventional for some but not all focus sensitive operators (Rooth 1992, Beaver and Clark 2008). The possibility of construing reflexive anaphors as agentive intensifiers with naturally reflexive verbs explains why this class predicates shows a different distribution of subject-alternatives.
How to Cite
Spathas, G. (1). Reflexivizers and intensifiers: consequences for a theory of focus. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 17, 581-598. Retrieved from