Hi,

I have a question about the status of "myself" in the following examples:

(1) I found myself a perfectly smooth stone.
(2) I'm going to have myself some fun.

Are these instances of "myself" to be considered to be indirect objects which happen to be reflexive pronouns or instances of emphatic "myself" as in the following sentences, which happen to sit between the verb and the object?

(3) a. I myself found a perfectly smooth stone.
b. I found a perfectly smooth stone myself.
(4) a. I myself am going to have some fun.
b. I'm going to have some fun myself.

Thank you in advance.

Taroimo
Original Post
The reflexive pronoun "myself" in Sentence 1 is an indirect object--in this case, the beneficiary of the action. It corresponds to the construction with the preposition "for." It's unstressed.

"Myself" in Sentence 2 can also be considered an indirect object, although "have some fun," unlike "find," doesn't normally take an indirect object. The reflexive pronoun "myself" in this expression gives the impression that the grammatical subject is both the beneficiary and the "instigator" of the same action.

Similar examples, from Google, include

--What an unsecured hand weapon was doing lying in a storeroom was another matter, one I would take up as soon as I had myself some more sleep, which wouldn't be today.

--I had myself some really good times but then I managed to catch the eye of the young Mr. Michael White of ˜White Cosmetics' fame.

--You just go on back to sleep now. And have good dreams. I had myself some good dreams in that very bed once upon a time.".

--Steve Francis (21.0-6.2-3.7) finally was able to put his migraine headache problem behind him and have himself a career type year.

--Andrzej wakes up when he hears a noise and goes up topside to have himself a look.

--I guess John will go have himself a longer vacation!

This use of the reflexive pronoun is colloquial, not formal, usage. Like a "true" indirect object as in Sentence 1, it's not stressed in speech.

In Sentences 3 a and b and 4 a and b the emphatic, non-object, reflexive pronoun "myself" does carry stress, to emphasize that the speaker, and no one else, performed (3) or is going to perform (4), the action.

Marilyn Martin
Hi, Marilyn.

Thank you for your reply.
Can I ask you a couple of follow-up questions?

If you put stress on "myself" as in (1') and (2') below (and you probably also need to put intonation breaks around "myself" as indicated below by commas), do you get the same interpretations as those for (3) and (4)?

(1') I found, mySELF, a perfectly smooth stone.
(2') I'm going to have, mySELF, some fun.

I know these sound a bit unnatural, but I was wondering if they are ever possible with the intended interpretations.

Also, some Google search returned sentences like "I'm going to have me some fun" and "My father is going to have him some fun". Do these have the same kind of colloqualism flavor to them as (2) and the examples you gave? In these cases, are "myself"/"himself" and "me"/"him" interchangeable?

Thank you in advance again.

Taroimo
Sentences (1') and (2') are not natural. The emphatic reflexive pronoun does not occur between the grammatical subject and the direct object. The emphatic reflexive pronoun may occur either immediately after the noun it refers to or at the end of the verb phrase, as in your original examples 3 and b and 4 a and b. In very informal usage it sometimes occurs right before the grammatical subject, as in

Myself, I'm going to have some fun

Your examples "I'm going to have me some fun" and "My father is going to have him some fun" are American English and very colloquial. Quirk et al.* give these examples:

--He got him ["himself"] a new car

--We're going to elect us a new president next year

There's a further use of the non-emphatic reflexive pronoun that goes beyond the indirect object use, and that is not discussed in any of my grammar sources. It's the reflexive pronoun after "have" meaning "possess." You find it in sentence like these from Google:

--And, now not only will he be more than able to support his kid, but he may also have himself a national championship.

--Slang may be sick, and he may have himself a lot of enemies, but pulling off a whopper like that just isn't his style

--Frailty is so very special, I've never seen anything like it, and Paxton has proven himself to be one of the finest directors of recent years with only one film. He could never make another film again and still have himself a place "up there" with the other masters.

This usage is also colloquial.

Marilyn Martin

A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (Longman, 1985), p. 357
Thank you again, Marilyn.

So the difference between (2) and one of your examples given in (5) is that the verb "have" in the former means something like "to get" (an action verb), while the verb "have" in the latter means "to possess" (a stative verb). Am I correct?

(2) I'm going to have myself some fun.
(5) Slang may be sick, and he may have himself a lot of enemies, but pulling off a whopper like that just isn't his style.

I wasn't aware of the usage as in (5). Is this a relatively new usage?

Taroimo
First, your question about the meaning of "have" in Sentence 2. The basic meaning of "have fun/a hard time/trouble" etc. is "experience." When the expression is changed to "have myself some fun" it could be understood as the dynamic action of action of "getting," although the meaning of "experiencing" is still there.

The usage in (5) is not new, it's just very colloquial, and possibly more frequent in some regions of the U.S. than in others. It's used sometimes deliberately to impart a more "folksy" flavor to one's speech.

Marilyn Martin

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