Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

Get access

(1,723 words)

Reciprocals are expressions that indicate that the subject of the verb is at the same time the object. Unlike reflexives, however, which have a similar function, reciprocals introduce a distributing element into the meaning. While a reflexive can be applied to a singular subject (x hits x), a reciprocal requires a plural subject, because it expresses the notion that the various members of the subject each perform the action described by the verb not on themselves, but on one or more of the other members of the subject: ‘x and y hit each other’ means ‘x hits y and y hits x’.

Heim a.o. (1991) argu…

Cite this page
Joost Kremers, “Reciprocals”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 13 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_0116>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

▲   Back to top   ▲