McWhorter, J. PhD Linguistics (Stanford). Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue (2009).

How can [1.] and [2.] (coloured in grey beneath) be distinguished? Doesn't 1 entail 2? How can "the remembering is [be] something that happens to you" (2), if "you are [not] idly recalling a past image of yourself" (1)?

I don't understand McWhorter's explanation beneath of why some verbs are pronominal reflexive, which means that the reflexive pronoun "is an inherent part of an unergative reflexive or reciprocal verb with no meaning of its own, and an obligatory part of the verb's lexical entry".

p. 98

  For example, I said [on p. 87 Bottom] that You mistake you for You’re mistaken from the wacky English example would be germane

p. 99

to the Viking issue. What I meant was that the misled Portuguese gentleman thought of you mistake you as normal because you mistake yourself is the way you put it in French (Tu te trompes) and Portuguese (Tu te equivocas) (both meaning “You ‘yourself’ mistake”).
  This is a quirk common in European languages, that often you do things “to yourself” which in English you just do. It tends to be with verbs having to do with moving and feeling. So in English, I have to go, but in Spanish, Tengo que irme (“I have to go ‘myself’”). With moving, this makes a kind of sense to an English speaker, although it seems a little redundant to us to have to specify that I am exerting the act of go-age upon myself. But the ones involving feelings are something else: I remember in English, Me acuerdo in Spanish (“I remember myself”), meaning [1.] not that you are idly recalling a past image of yourself, but [2.] that the remembering is something that happens to you, thus affecting not something or someone else, but you. While about the only Modern English versions of these are behave yourself, to perjure yourself, and to pride yourself (upon), many European languages mark hundreds of verbs in that way.

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    This is rather like an earlier dispute about the meanings of the verb remind. There's a famous article by Paul Postal on it, distinguishing two senses -- one is perceptual and intransitive; he calls it the "strike like" sense, as in She reminds me of her aunt Tillie. Perception is something that happens to you. The other sense is causative and volitional, and it means "call to mind", as in She reminded me of my dentist's appointment. One is internal and undetectable, the other is a speech act with a human actor and human addressee. That's a big difference. – jlawler Dec 31 '18 at 3:25
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    I think you're overthinking this. You know some other European languages, right? – Adam Bittlingmayer Jan 2 at 7:41
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    @jlawler Thanks for spotting and explaining the distinction that I overlooked. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jan 3 at 0:12
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    @AdamBittlingmayer Only French sadly. But am I truly overthinking this? Didn't I "under-think" this, by overlooking the distinction in Prof Lawler's comment atop yours? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jan 3 at 0:13
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    Strike like is perception, and perception is something that happens to you, internally. She could remind you of your aunt Tillie without anybody being able to tell that you had noticed the resemblance. On the other hand, she couldn't remind you to write your aunt Tillie without performing some speech act that you could observe. – jlawler Jan 12 at 18:10

The two seem quite distinct to me. Remembering is something which happens to me - I am involved in it - irrespective of whether the content of the memory is in any way associated with me or not.

If I remember that you once fell downstairs, I am not involved in that memory, so I will be a participant only in sense 2, not in sense 1. (It is true that originally I must have become aware of this in some way, but that need not be part of the memory. I know (speaking for myself) that there are events I know about, that I can no longer remember whether I witnessed them or was told about them: so the part of the memory that relates to my knowing has been lost, but I still have the memory of the event not involving myself).

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