CONVERSE EXPRESSIONS IN GERMAN (using the example of verbs related to emotions)

  • Mychajlo Hawrysch
Keywords: conversion, logical-semantic conversion, converse lexemes, converse sentences, valency theory, reflexive and transitive verbs


This article deals with the issue of converse relations between individual linguistic signs and sentences formed on the basis of converse lexemes. The high relevance and topicality of this research (inter alia for foreign language teaching) is supported by the fact that converse expressions are an effective means by which the speaker can communicate his or her differently directed intentions to the listener.
The research subject is limited and concerns only verbs related to emotions – (sich) ärgern, (sich) freuen, etc. The fundamental principles of Valency theory by W. Bondzio and G. Heldig as well as the author’s own explorations – to which he refers in order to present essential criteria / characteristics of the conversion of lexemes and sentences – form the theoretical basis of the present analysis. Building on these preliminary explanations the aim of this article is defined, which is to verify the converse relations between reflexive and transitive valency types of the aforementioned verbs.
The author discusses two aspects of the problem in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions. Firstly, he discovers under which conditions from the viewpoint of valency theory the reflexive pronoun sich should be regarded as a co-player of the verb and in which cases it forms an inseparable entity with the verb. Secondly, he examines the referential identity of reflexive and transitive variants of emotions-related verbal lexemes.
Based on the results of his analysis, the author concludes that in most cases (but not always) reflexive and transitive valency- or meaning-variants of emotion-verbs function as converse linguistic signs (logical-semantic conversion) since they reflect identical facts of reality but from different perspectives.

How to Cite
Hawrysch, M. (2019). CONVERSE EXPRESSIONS IN GERMAN (using the example of verbs related to emotions). Scientific Notes of Ostroh Academy National University: Philology Series, (5(73), 180-183. Retrieved from