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Reflexive / Reciprocal Pronouns
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This public article was written by Vulcanman, and last updated on 13 May 2017, 17:23.

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20. Verbs
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1. The Reflexive Pronoun at A Glance
2. Accusative Case
3. Dative Case
4. Genitive Case
5. Instrumental Case / Agent
6. Verbal Prefix (part 1)
7. Verbal Prefix (part 2) / Nominative Case
8. The Reflexive Pronoun vs. The Middle Voice
9. The Reflexive as an intensifier?
10. The Reciprocal Pronoun

[top]The Reflexive Pronoun at A Glance


The reflexive pronoun corresponds to English: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, and themselves. Unlike English, Shikathi only has one pronoun to mean all of those. Also unlike English, that one reflexive pronoun can be declined into: nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive. There are also two declensions of the pronoun that are no longer used in conversation but may show up in older literature. They are old genitive and instrumental.

Here is the reflexive pronoun:

Verbal Prefix NOM ACC DAT GEN (obsolete) GEN 1 / GEN 2 INS (obsolete) as an Agent
SINGULARne-vlāneshāneghānedānenethī / neshpa nēnnerum
PLURALne- ... -kyvlānkyshānkyghānkydānkynekthī/ nekshpa nekīnnekirum


Special note on plurals


The plural suffix -ky can be placed either on the pronoun, on the verbalizer, or on both.  Placing the plural suffix on both the pronoun and the verbalizer changes the pronoun from reflexive to reciprocal.

Reflexive:

We talk to ourselves
ghāne ashtātl ūmakāmky
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
speech 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few


or

ghānky ashtātl ūmakām
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
speech 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument


Reciprocal:

We talk to each other.
ghānky ashtātl ūmakāmky
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
speech 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few



More about reciprocals later on...



[top]Accusative Case


Some sentences that have a subordinate clause in English will use the gerund along with the accusative case in Shikathi. For example:

I see that you are happy. (lit: I see you being happy.)
shil zhovykām trāsh ūmlātr.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
happiness-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
sight 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.

I hope that you are happy. (lit: I hope you being happy.)
shil zhovykām thōn ūmlātr.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
happiness-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
hope 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.



With this sentence structure in mind, use the reflexive pronoun in the accusative case when the subject of the main clause is the same as the subject in the subordinate clause.

I hope that I am happy. (lit: I hope myself being happy)
shāne zhovykām thōn ūmlātr.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
happiness-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
hope 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.

She says that she (herself) is happy. (lit: She says she herself being happy)
shāne zhovykām azhā aeālator.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
happiness-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
word 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.

(Note that unlike English, the reflexive pronoun remains the same no matter if it’s first, second, or third person.)



Reminder:  Use the regular third person pronoun if you are referring to two different people.

He hopes that he (himself) is happy.
shāne zhovykām thōn indrālator.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
happiness-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
hope 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.

vs.

He (Tom) hopes that he (Mike) is happy.
shindra zhovykām thōn indrālator.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
happiness-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
hope 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.


[top]Dative Case


For verbs that can take an indirect object, use the dative reflexive pronoun in situations where the indirect object is the same as the subject.

Jim bought himself a book.
Iākm ghāne tōgna suknā torlātr.
Jim DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
book money PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.



The reflexive in the dative is also the basis for a variety of idioms.  

She talked herself into leaving. (lit: She told herself to leave)
ghāne benghnām azhā aeātyrlātr.
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
movement-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
word 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.

... compared to an accusative usage (not an idiom):

She said that she was leaving.
shāne benghnām azhā aeātyrlātr.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
movement-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
word 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.



[top]Genitive Case


Use the genitive form of the reflexive pronoun if the possessor is the same as the subject. In English you might translate it as “one’s own”.

He buys his own house.
fānī nethī sukinā indrālator.
House REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
money 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.

She speaks to her own students.
zdamkaetky nethī azhā aeālator.
student-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
word 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.

He gave me his own book.
ghūm tōgna nethī onō indrātyrlātr.
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
book REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-GENGenitive (case)
possessive
gift 3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
.


[top]Instrumental Case / Agent


The Agent marker -rum is used in place of the instrumental case for personal pronouns only. It is used to express when the person is being used as an instrument or if you wanted to say “by means of / because of a certain person”. If that person  is the same as the subject of the sentence, use the reflexive pronoun.

To reiterate, the reflexive pronoun is only used if the agent and the subject are the same. In passive sentences, the agent is not necessarily the same person as the subject and so the reflexive pronouns would not be used.


My friend was protected by me (using myself) as a shield.
āmnamaet fōlzhnet trekrō ūmrum bisykätkus.   (no reflexive necessary)
friend wrapping PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-PASSPassive voice (valency)
be verb-ed
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-by as-shield.

vs.

I protected my friend by using myself as a shield.
āmnamaet fōlzhnaet ūmtyrlātr nerum bisykätkus.  (reflexive is necessary)
friend wrapping 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-by like-shield.


Note: In older texts, you’ll see the Instrumental case being used instead of the agentive suffix.

I protected my friend by using myself as a shield.
āmnamaet fōlzhnaet ūmtyrlātr nēn bisykätkus.
friend wrapping 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-INSInstrumental (case)
'with', 'using'
like-shield.



[top]Verbal Prefix (part 1)


The verbal prefix is the base form of all personal pronouns. It is generally attached to the verbalizer, which subsequently conjugates the verb. However it is also used as objects of the preposition (or in Shikathi’s case, post-position)

For example:

ūm = 1st person verbal prefix
drū = to / toward
ūmdrū = to/towards me

You’re lifting it towards me.
shenū drībenghn ilātor ūmdrū.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-3IThird person inanimate (person)
it, not he/she/they
incline 2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-towards.


If the object of the preposition is the same as the subject of the sentence, use the reflexive verbal prefix attached to the necessary preposition.

I’m lifting it towards myself.
shenū drībenghn ūmlātyr nedrū.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-3IThird person inanimate (person)
it, not he/she/they
incline 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-towards.



[top]Verbal Prefix (part 2) / Nominative Case



The reflexive pronoun in the nominative case and the reflexive verbal prefix in older Shikathi dialects are used with converbs.  Please go here for a more detailed explanation on pro-verbs and converbs.

Converbs (conjunctive verbs) are derived from adverbial conjunctions that function as verbs.  These are used in subordinate and coordinate clauses that usally have a different subject from the main clause.

For example:

kēa = while (as a conjunction)
keām = while (as a verb)

I’m looking at you while we eat.
shil trash ūmlātr pishton ūmkeāmky.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
eye 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
food 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-while.PROVPro-Verb
a verb that substitutes another verb/verb phrase
-MIDMiddle voice (valency)
subject is both agent and patient
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few



Most modern Shikathi dialects follow the rule that if the subject of the main clause is the same as that of the subordinate clause, a converb is not used but rather the gerund followed by the true conjunction.


I’m looking at you while I eat.
shil trash ūmlātr pishtonamkēa.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
eye 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
food-GERGerund
verbal noun
-MIDMiddle voice (valency)
subject is both agent and patient
-while.


However, in older dialects of Shikathi, pro-verbs and converbs are used even if the two clauses share the same subject. Most of these dialects can be found either in isolated Shikathi communities on the homeworld, or on older off-world colonies that were settled during the first colonization period.

In cases where a pro-verb / converb is used, and the subject of the independent clause is the same as that of the subordinate clause, use the reflexive verbal prefix or the reflexive nominative pronoun in the subordinate clause.

Compare the following sentences:

Shikathi Prime Dialect:

I'm looking at you while I talk to you.
shil trash ūmlātr ghil āzhamkēa. (conjunction is used instead of the converb)
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
eye 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
word-GERGerund
verbal noun
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-while.



Shikathi Colonial Dialects:

I'm looking at you while I talk to you.
shil trash ūmlātr ghil azhā nekeām.   (converb is used and is conjugated with the reflexive verbal prefix)
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
eye 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
word REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-while.PROVPro-Verb
a verb that substitutes another verb/verb phrase
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
.

or

I'm looking at you while I talk to you.
shil trash ūmlātr vlāne ghil azhā keām. (converb is used with the subject being the nominative reflexive pronoun)
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
eye 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
word while.PROVPro-Verb
a verb that substitutes another verb/verb phrase
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
.




[top]The Reflexive Pronoun vs. The Middle Voice


It’s important to note that the reflexive pronoun is not used as often as it would be in English. Since Shikathi has a middle voice verbalizer (akām), many of the verbs would simply use that verbalizer instead of the reflexive pronoun.


To cut oneself
ätkin akām (middle voice)

I cut myself.
ätkyn ūmakām. (no reflexive pronoun is necessary)

To trust oneself
amnamaet akām (middle voice)

They trust themselves.
amnamaet kūakāmky. (no reflexive pronoun is necessary)


Reflexive pronouns are to be used in the cases where the middle voice verbalizer can’t be used or if one needs to clarify the meaning of akām since this verbalizer in Modern Shikathi now doubles as the middle voice and as active intransitive.


To admit the truth
amnil akām (active intransitive)

I admit the truth to myself.
ghāne āmnyl ūmakām. (reflexive pronoun is needed because akam here is intransitive)



[top]The Reflexive as an intensifier?


Simply put.... Not in Shikathi.

English can use reflexive pronouns as intensifiers: I myself speak.

Reflexives are not used this way in Shikathi. To add an intensifier, use the subject pronoun to mean x is the one. For greater intensity use the subject pronoun along with the verbal prefix to mean x itself.

I speak.
āzha ūmakām.  (no intensifier)
Word 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument


I am the one that speaks.  (moderate intensifier)
vlām azhā akām.
NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
word INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument


I myself speak.
vlām āzha ūmakām.  (greater intensifier)
NOMNominative (case)
TRANS subject, INTR argument
-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
word 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
.

Another example:

Jim speaks. / Jim is the one that speaks.
Iākm azhā akām

Jim himself speaks.
Iākm azha indrākam.


You can also use the suffix -ne as an intensifier. It’s important to note that this is not to be confused with the reflexive ne-, or the superlative ne- . The suffix -ne is a marker denoting totality.


drūm = person
drūmne = the whole person
drūmkne = everybody / every person / all people


When used as an Intensifier:

You are the one I speak to. / I speak to you yourself.
ghilne āzha ūmakām. (literally: I speak to the whole you)
DATDative (case)
indirect object; beneficiary
-2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
-TOTTotal
all/every
word 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
.


[top]The Reciprocal Pronoun


The reciprocal in English is expressed as “each other” or “one another”. For example: We see each other. As opposed to the reflexive: We see ourselves. In Shikathi, the reciprocal pronoun is the same as the reflexive. A reciprocal pronoun however will always be plural. Unlike reflexives, where the pluralizer (-ky) can go either on the pronoun or on the verbalizer, for reciprocals, the pluralizer must go on both the pronoun and the verbalizer.

We see.
trash ūmakāmky.
Eye 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few


We see ourselves. (reflexive)
shāne trash ūmakāmky.    (or:   shānky trash ūmakām.)
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
eye 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-INTRIntransitive (valency)
has one argument
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few


We see each other. (reciprocal)
shānky trash ūmlatorky.
ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-REFLReflexive (valency)
argument acts on itself
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
eye 1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-TRTransitive (valency)
has two arguments
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.


Another example:


To admit the truth
amnil akām

We admit the truth to ourselves. (reflexive)
ghāne āmnyl ūmakāmky.    (or    ghanēky āmnyl ūmakām.)

We admit the truth to each other. (reciprocal)
ghanēky āmnyl ūmakāmky.

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