Evidence Based on a dynamic source: Database support for a theory of transitive reciprocals

Ken Safir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The novelty of this document is that the empirical support for the predictions it examines, predictions about the distribution and interpretation of transitive reciprocal constructions, will be different each time it is read. The evidence will change because this paper will only provide parameters for a search of the Afranaph Database (ongoing) and two other databases, and as these databases grow and change over time, the search results returned today will be different from the results returned by the same search executed months or years from now. Reversing the normal priorities of linguistic research, the proposal we present about the nature of reciprocal constructions in natural language, which contends that direct object full DPs anaphors do not directly contribute reciprocal meaning (a proposal more broadly and specifically defended by Safir and Selvanathan (in preparation) is secondary (a) to our demonstration of the methodology we employ to support our claims and (b) to the lessons we draw from it about the evaluation of evidence for research in linguistics in the digital age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalLinguistics Vanguard
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


  • Linguistic database
  • Reciprocal
  • Transitive reciprocal


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