Polish się ‘self’: a pronoun or a function word? Cover Image

Się: zaimek czy wyraz funkcyjny?
Polish się ‘self’: a pronoun or a function word?

Author(s): Aleksander Kiklewicz
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: KSIĘGARNIA AKADEMICKA Sp. z o.o.

Summary/Abstract: The article investigates the status of the word się ‘self’ in the grammatical system of contemporary Polish. Functioning in two separate syntactic positions, the word is an example of grammatical homonymy: it can be a semantically complete (autosemantic) unit – a reflexive pronoun, and at the same time a semantically incomplete (synsemantic) unit, a function word – or, a discontinuous morpheme. The paper critically analyzes the theoretical positions of the authors of traditional Polish grammars, and proposes a new concept of the word się. In the presented view, the word only functions as a pronoun in those expressions where it is a separate part of the sentence which indicates a person or a living creature, where it enables interlocation in the syntagmatic group V + się, and where it allows creation of parallel expressions with the same verb and an unreflexive meaning.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 14
  • Page Range: 9-21
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Polish