I am currently doing homework for a linguistics course I am taking.
The question is about creating a rule to make confirm if certain sentences are grammatical or ungrammatical.
Here are some examples, with those with a star in front signifying that the sentence is ungrammatical.
a. I saw myself in the mirror.
b. * Myself saw me in the mirror.
c. I showed the monkey himself in the mirror.
d. * I showed himself the monkey in the mirror.
a. Carla read a book about herself.
b. * A book about Carla upset herself.
c. John’s teachers respect themselves.
d. * John’s teachers respect himself.
a. I know that Mary likes herself.
b. * I know that Mary likes myself.
For this homework, I need to create a rule to make all those sentences with no * grammatical, and all the sentences with * ungrammatical. This rule has to apply for all 3 sets of sentences.
Currently, the rule I have come up with is: A reflexive pronoun can only be used to an entity that has already been mentioned.
However, this rule only can be applied to sets 1 and 2.
Does anyone have any idea on a rule that can be applied to all 3 sets?