Reflexive constructions in the world's languages

Katarzyna Janic (ed), Nicoletta Puddu (ed), Martin Haspelmath (ed)


This landmark publication brings together 28 papers on reflexive constructions in languages from all continents, representing very diverse language types. While reflexive constructions have been discussed in the past from a variety of angles, this is the first edited volume of its kind. All the chapters are based on original data, and they are broadly comparable through a common terminological framework. The volume opens with two introductory chapters by the editors that set the stage and lay out the main comparative concepts, and it concludes with a chapter presenting generalizations on the basis of the studies of individual languages.


  • Introducing the cross-linguistic comparison of reflexive constructions
    Nicoletta Puddu, Katarzyna Janic
  • Comparing reflexive constructions in the world’s languages
    Martin Haspelmath
  • Reflexive constructions in Bangime
    Abbie Hantgan-Sonko
  • Reflexive constructions in Hausa
    Mahamane L. Abdoulaye
  • Reflexive constructions in Jóola Fóoñi
    Denis Creissels, Alain Christian Bassène
  • Reflexive constructions in Kambaata
    Yvonne Treis
  • Reflexive constructions in Luganda
    Alena Witzlack-Makarevich, Erika Just, Saudah Namyalo
  • Reflexive constructions in Mano
    Maria Khachaturyan
  • Reflexive constructions in Abaza
    Peter M. Arkadiev, Sonia Durneva
  • Reflexivity in Kazym Khanty
    Anna Volkova, Svetlana Toldova
  • Reflexive constructions in Polish
    Katarzyna Janic
  • Reflexive constructions in Thulung
    Aimée Lahaussois
  • Reflexive constructions in Early Vedic
    Roland Pooth, Verónica Orqueda
  • Reflexive constructions in Yiddish
    Elena Luchina
  • Reflexive and middle constructions in Chini
    Joseph Brooks
  • The middle template and other ways of expressing coreferenceKomnzo
    Christian Döhler
  • Reflexive constructions in Nungon
    Hanna Sarvasy
  • Reflexive constructions in Walman
    Matthew S. Dryer, Lea Brown
  • Reflexive constructions in Waray
    Thomas E. Payne, Voltaire Q. Oyzon
  • The reflexive voice construction in Anindilyakwa
    Marie-Elaine van Egmond
  • The reflexive construction in Jaminjung/Ngaliwurru
    Eva Schultze-Berndt
  • Reflexive constructions in Kuuk Thaayorre
    Alice R. Gaby
  • Reflexive constructions in Warlpiri
    Mary Laughren
  • Coreference constructions in Zenzontepec Chatino
    Eric W. Campbell
  • Reflexive constructions in Hoocąk
    Johannes Helmbrecht
  • Reflexive prefixes in Oneida
    Karin Michelson
  • Reflexive constructions in Yaqui
    Lilián Guerrero
  • Reflexive and reciprocal constructions in Aguaruna
    Simon E. Overall
  • Reflexive constructions in Kakataibo
    Roberto Zariquiey
  • Reflexive constructions and middle marking in Mojeño Trinitario
    Françoise Rose
  • Crosslinguistic generalizations about reflexive constructions
    Katarzyna Janic, Nicoletta Puddu
  • Questionnaire on reflexive constructions in the world’s languages
    Katarzyna Janic, Martin Haspelmath



Katarzyna Janic, Adam Mickiewicz University

Katarzyna Janic is a post-doctoral researcher who obtained her PhD degree at Lyon 2 University. Her thesis The antipassive in accusative languages was awarded the Greenberg Award from the Association of Linguistic Typology. She started her postdoctoral research career at Zürich University and then she continued at Leipzig University as a member of Martin Haspelmath's ERC project Grammatical Universals. Her research is directed towards syntactic structures investigated from a crosslinguistically comparative perspective. She has been interested in reflexive constructions since her second M.A. thesis Typology of reflexive verbs in Polish and French (Lyon 2 University). This topic figures prominently in her various contributions including the published PhD dissertation.

Nicoletta Puddu, University of Cagliari

Nicoletta Puddu is a professor of linguistics at the University of Cagliari (Italy). She received her PhD from the University of Pavia, and her dissertation was published in 2005 (Reflexives and intensifiers: Greek, Latin and the other Indo-European languages). Her research interests are in Indo-European linguistics, typology, historical corpus linguistics, and sociolinguistics of Sardinian.

Martin Haspelmath, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology & Leipzig University

Martin Haspelmath is a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and an honorary professor at Leipzig University. He co-founded Language Science Press and has made many contributions to worldwide comparative grammar research and is perhaps best known as a co-editor of the World atlas of language structures. He has been interested in reflexive constructions since his first published paper (Transitivity alternations of the anticausative type (1987), published as a University of Cologne working paper).

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March 22, 2021 — Updated on August 1, 2023


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Janic, Katarzyna, Puddu, Nicoletta & Haspelmath, Martin (eds.). 2023. Reflexive constructions in the world's languages. (Research on Comparative Grammar 3). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7861660


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180mm x 245mm