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Reflexive constructions in the world's languages

Katarzyna Janic   Nicoletta Puddu   Martin Haspelmath  


This landmark publication brings together 26 papers on reflexive constructions in languages from around the world, covering all continents and diverse language types. Even though reflexive constructions have often been discussed from a variety of angles, this is the first edited volume of its kind. All the chapters are based on original data collected by the authors, and they are broadly comparable through careful terminological usage, even though each paper is primarily based on language-internal evidence. The volume also contains two introductory chapters by the editors that set the stage and lay out the main comparative concepts, as well as one concluding chapter that presents generalizations.


  • Introducing 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 Jóola Fooñi
    Denis Creissels, Alain Christian Bassène
  • Reflexive constructions in Hausa
    Mahamane L Abdoulaye
  • 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 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
    Verónica Orqueda, Roland Pooth
  • Reflexive and middle constructions in Chini
    Joseph Brooks
  • Reflexive constructions in Komnzo
    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
  • Reflexive voice in Anindilyakwa
    Marie-Elaine van Egmond
  • Reflexive constructions in Jaminjung/Ngaliwurru
    Eva Schultze-Berndt
  • Reflexive constructions in Kuuk Thayorre
    Alice Gaby
  • Reflexive constructions in Warlpiri
    Mary Laughren
  • Reflexive constructions in Hoocąk
    Johannes Helmbrecht
  • Reflexive constructions in Oneida
    Karin Michelson
  • Reflexive constructions in Yaqui
    Lilián Guerrero
  • Reflexive and reciprocal in Aguaruna
    Simon E Overall
  • Reflexive constructions in Kakataibo
    Roberto Zariquiey
  • Reflexive constructions and middle marking in Mojeño Trinitario
    Françoise Rose
  • Reflexive constructions in Zenzontepec Chatino
    Eric Campbell
  • Reflexive constructions in Yiddish
    Elena Luchina
  • Crosslinguistic generalizations of the form and function in reflexive constructions
    Katarzyna Janic, Nicoletta Puddu
  • Questionnaire on reflexive constructions in the world’s languages
    Katarzyna Janic, Martin Haspelmath



Katarzyna Janic

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

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-Europan linguistics, typology, varieties of Italian (especially Sardinian), historical corpus linguistics, and sociolinguistics of Sardinian.

Martin Haspelmath

Martin Haspelmath is a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and an honorary professor at Leipzig University. He is a co-founder and press director of Language Science Press. He 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).


March 22, 2021


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


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