reflexive, reflexivity: in general, relating to a clause or verb whose subject is identified with (coreferential with) its direct object, thus referring to the same person or thing. [Spanish: reflexivo, reflexividad]

Reflexivity is marked in various ways in different languages, leading to different uses of the term "reflexive".

reflexive [1]: The normal markings for subject and object can be used, with the reflexivity indicated only by using markings for the same person, number, gender, etc. English used to do this, saying "I lay me down" instead of "I lay myself down". This may be called a reflexive use of ordinary object marking. [Spanish: reflexivo [1]]

reflexive [2]: Special reflexive pronouns may be used. Modern English works this way, using pronouns for all persons with "-self" attached to them, as in "she sees herself". [Spanish: reflexivo [2]]

reflexive [3]: The first pattern works especially well with first and second persons, but not so well with third persons; for instance "she laid her down" could mean either that she laid herself down, or that she laid some other female third person down. So some languages use a mixture of the above two patterns. Spanish does this, using the regular object pronouns for first and second person reflexives (pattern [1]), but using a special pronoun "se" (pattern [2]) to mark third person reflexives (as well as reflexives of the second person honorifics, "usted(es)", which function in the grammar as if they were third person). [Spanish: reflexivo [3]]

reflexive [4]: The verb itself may be marked as reflexive with a reflexive affix. It is then a kind of intransitive verb, and there is no other indication of the object (neither an object affix in the verb nor an object noun phrase). The English verb "self-destruct" does this sort of thing (as opposed to the more normal pattern of "destroy yourself"). In the prefix "mo-" works in this way: "tlasohtla" means 'love', and "motlasohtla" means 'love oneself, be an egotist'; the normal affixes for an intransitive verb are then added to that complex stem. [Spanish: reflexivo [4]]