The Pronoun sobi Used as an Intensifier in Spoken Ukrainian. A Comparison with Russian and Italian
Copyright (c) 2020 Francesca Fici
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Starting from the idea that intensification does not modify the notional meaning of an utterance, and that a morphological item can express more than just intensification, this article aims to present the peculiarities of the Ukrainian reflexive pronoun sobi ‘self’, in comparison to the similar Russian pronoun sebe and the Italian si. The analysis utilizes a contemporary Ukrainian novel and its translation in Russian and in Italian, and a story originally written in Russian and later translated in Ukrainian. Comparing sentences containing the reflexive pronouns sobi and sebe, we observe that the occurrence as mark of intensification concerns only a limited class of verbs (or predicates). In particular, it expresses the peculiar state of satisfaction experienced by the subject in the circumstances expressed by the verb.