I hadn't thought about this before and now that I've been thinking some time about it, I think I've come to a solution.
Reflexive pronouns are used for different purposes in different languages. Here are three sentences where some languages use reflexive pronouns.
- He washes his own hands.
- He can do it himself.
- They talk to each other.
- I hit myself.
- He hits himself.
1. In the first example, Omlueuet uses no possessive pronoun at all.
He washes (his own) hands.
If you use a comitative pronoun, you would hint at the fact, that the hands belong to someone else.
Wáusprë qatë khand.
wasp\au-rë qa-të khand-0
hands\-F.ACC.DU 3SG-M.COM.SG wash-3SG.IPFV
He washes (someone else's) hands.
2. In the second sentence, where the reflexive pronoun is used as an intensifier, in Omlueuet you would probably use an intensifying derivational prefix on the verb, e.g. er
- as in:
He can do it himself.
The exact interpretation of this sentence however does depend on the pragmatic context.
3. Reciprocal action is indicated, again, via verbal morphology. This time the prefix is om
They (two) talk to each other.
4. Reflexive actions with the first or second person as an agent/patient use the normal object pronouns.
I hit myself
5. In true reflexive actions with a third person, a reduplicated form of the third person pronoun is used as the reflexive pronoun. This is rarely used (see above) and only used in this very special occasion. In Haspelmaths term it is only used for extroverted reflexives, i.e. verbs that are not normally reflexiv.
He hits himself
He hits him (someone else).
A lot of introverted reflexives (like wash oneself
) are handled with constructions as in 1.