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Reflexive pronouns

In the sentence, Napoleon made himself the dictator, "himself" is a reflexive pronoun. But does it function as an emphatic pronoun, indirect object or something else? Please explain the grammatical construct and the meaning.

Re: Reflexive pronouns

Napoleon made himself the dictator.

No, this is not the emphatic use of a reflexive pronoun. Emphatic reflexives are always optional, cf. Napoleon (himself) made Pierre-Charles Villeneuve Vice-Admiral, where the reflexive "himself" is optional -- it can be dropped with no loss of grammaticality.

But in your example, "himself" is a grammatically obligatory element, and hence is a complement, more specifically the object of the verb "made".

"Napoleon" is the antecedent for the pronoun, so the meaning is that the person who was made the dictator was the same person as the one who did the making: Napoleon made Napoleon the dictator.





PaulM

Re: Reflexive pronouns

Thanks Paul! I'll have to study up on the meaning and use of complements I didn't think reflexive pronouns could be complements.

I didn't really think himself was emphatic, but had to include the possibility in my question. When you said "object" did you mean direct object or indirect object? If indirect object, I thought indirect objects answer the question for whom, to whom, for what, to what...which doesn't make sense: Napoleon made [for] himself the dictator.

Re: Reflexive pronouns

Quote: Brent
Thanks Paul! I'll have to study up on the meaning and use of complements I didn't think reflexive pronouns could be complements.

I didn't really think himself was emphatic, but had to include the possibility in my question. When you said "object" did you mean direct object or indirect object? If indirect object, I thought indirect objects answer the question for whom, to whom, for what, to what...which doesn't make sense: Napoleon made [for] himself the dictator.


It's direct object, a 'core' complement.

Obligatory items are always complements; that applies to all sentences.



PaulM

Re: Reflexive pronouns

Paul, you are a real help! One more question if I may.
Is the entire phrase, "himself the dictator" the direct object?

What is the difference in these two sentences:

Napoleon made himself the egg.

Napoleon made himself the dictator.

Re: Reflexive pronouns

Quote: Brent
Paul, you are a real help! One more question if I may.
Is the entire phrase, "himself the dictator" the direct object?

PM: No, it's just "himself" that is direct object. See below for the analysis of "the dictator".

Quote: Brent
What is the difference in these two sentences:

(1) Napoleon made himself the egg.

(2) Napoleon made himself the dictator.

PM: In (1) "himself" is indirect object and "the egg" is direct object. I'm assuming that by "egg", you mean the edible product! Note that we would normally say "an egg" in examples like this.

In (2) "himself" is direct object, and "the dictator" is objective predicative complement. Structurally, it's the same as They elected him president.


Does that answer all your questions?



PaulM

Re: Reflexive pronouns

YES!

You cleared it up for me! Once you pointed me to complement I found Object Complement with the verb "make". That was a real help!

I can't tell you who grateful I am. You really, really, helped! THANKS!