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User instructions -- how to use TDIR

This database contains information on intensifiers and reflexives. With the term 'intensifier' we refer to expressions like Latin ipse, Russian sam, German selbst or English himself as in The president himself will open the meeting (click here for more information on intensifiers). Reflexives can be defined as morphosyntactic devices that are used to indicate that two NPs co-occurring in a local environment have identical referents, or are assigned to identical variables (Latin se, Russian sebja, German sich).

Intensifiers and reflexives are either formally identical or etymologically related in more than half of the world's languages (cf. König & Siemund 2005). This observation has led us to consider the two types of expressions in tandem, with specific emphasis on the various synchronic and diachronic interactions. Information from related domains of grammar such as the middle voice and scalar focus particles has also been included.

The database offers access to three kinds of output pages. The following search options are available:

  1. Search for information on particular languages and examples
  2. Search for examples of a specific type
  3. Search for intensifiers of a specific type

The information provided in the database includes two components: (i) lexico-grammatical information ('grammar fragments') and (ii) examples. Lexico-grammatical information includes both synchronic and diachronic aspects of language description. The syntactic and semantic behaviour of the relevant elements is outlined in the form of notes and annotations, and etymological information is provided where available. Examples are accompanied by inter-linear glosses and by a free translation. The sources are indicated for each example separately. The references for secondary data are also assembled in a list of references.


König, E. & Siemund, P. (to appear). 'Intensifiers and reflexive pronouns', in Dryer, M., Haspelmath, M. and Gil, D. (eds.), The World Atlas of Language Structures. Berlin: Mouton.

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