Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Zìjǐ 自己
(2,387 words)

The Chinese monomorphemic reflexive zìjǐ 自己 ‘self’ has four basic properties: (a) monomorphemic zìjǐ (and not polymorphemic tā zìjǐ 他自己 ‘himself’) can be long-distance (LD) bound by a higher subject; (b) only subjects may qualify as antecedents; (c) a ‘sub-commanding’ subject like the possessor Zhāng Sān 張三 in Zhāng Sān de xìn 張三的信  ‘Zhāng Sān’s letter’ may qualify as an antecedent under appropriate conditions and (d) LD (Long Distance) binding, as (4a) shows, may be blocked by potential antecedents which are more local (that is, closer to zìjǐ) and which have person-number-ge…

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Chen-sheng Luther LIU, “Zìjǐ 自己”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 28 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000479>
First published online: 2015

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