A Comparative Study of Reflexive Forms in Three Northern Athapaskan Languages
In this paper I will describe the reflexive forms found in three Athapaskan languages of northern Canada: Chipewyan, Dogrib, and Slave. Reflexive morphology in these languages has different properties depending on whether the reflexive form serves as the object of a verb or postposition, or as the possessor of a noun. My focus in this paper is on the reflexive possessive forms. I show that different properties of reflexive forms in a single language are mirrored by different properties among the three languages. Cross-linguistic evidence thus provides additional support for distinctions set up on the basis of facts particular to one language, in this case, distinctions between possessive and non-possessive uses of the reflexive form.