In delimiting our field of inquire and in defining the third of comparison for our crosslinguistic study in terms of a semantic property (SYMMETRY, AUTO-CONVERSENESS), we are only looking at the core area of reciprocal constructions and are probably excluding a periphery with specific syntactic and semantic properties.
Since there is no generally accepted, reasonably comprehensive typology of reciprocal constructions available, we will draw a preliminary distinction between different types in analogy to the well-known typology formulated by Faltz (1985) for reflexives:
Analogously, a typology of reciprocal constructions can be developed by first of all distinguishing verbal strategies from nominal ones.
iii) Is the formation of reciprocal verbs based on a morphological or on a syntactic strategy (Siloni 2002)?
Languages using this strategy have derivational or inflectional affixes as reciprocal markers.
Synthetic strategies for the formation of reciprocal verbs are found in Amharic, Bantu, Evenki, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Manam, Meso-American languages, Russian, (10) Somali, Swedish, Turkic, Tuvaluan, and Yimas, to mention just a few examples from different language families.
In Turkish, the number of such derived reciprocal verbs (the relevant affix being -(i)s-, -(i)s-, -(u)s-) is much higher and includes also clear cases of nonsymmetric predicates as derivational bases:
In contrast to both of these languages, the derivational processes through which reciprocal verbs can be derived seem to be fully productive in the Papuan language Yimas (Foley 1991: 284), in some Turkic languages (cf.
Reciprocal affixes typically, and perhaps invariably, have other possible interpretations in addition to the reciprocal one.
The reciprocal marker elkar in Basque can be assumed to derive from the verb elkartu 'meet, come together, put together'.
The reciprocal markers used in the third strategy are free forms or clitics that are typically also used as reflexive markers.