Download Deconstructing the English Passive by Anja Wanner PDF

By Anja Wanner

This publication analyzes the shape and serve as of the English passive from a verb-based viewpoint. It takes the location that many of the floor sorts of the passive (with or with no thematic topic, without or with item, without or with by-phrase, without or with auxiliary) have a standard resource and are made up our minds via the interaction of the syntactic homes of the verb and basic syntactic ideas. every one structural portion of the passive building is tested individually, and the participle is taken into account the single defining portion of the passive.

Special emphasis is wear the lifestyles of an implicit argument (ususally an agent) and its illustration within the passive. A evaluation of information from syntax, language acquisition, and psycholinguistics indicates that the implicit agent isn't just a conceptually understood argument. it really is argued that it's represented on the point of argument constitution and that this can be what units the passive except different patient-subject constructions.

A corpus-based case learn at the use of the passive in educational writing analyzes using the passive during this specific check in. one of many findings is that approximately 20-25% of passives happen in structures that don't require an auxiliary, a end result that demanding situations corpus reports at the use of the passive that simply think about complete be-passives. it's also proven that new active-voice structures have emerged that compete with the passive with no need a extra noticeable agent. The emergence of those structures (such as "This paper argues...") is mentioned within the context of adjustments within the rhetoric of medical discourse.

The booklet is especially of curiosity to linguists and graduate scholars within the parts of English syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.

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Extra resources for Deconstructing the English Passive

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If there is no measurable direct object, the event is not telic. Obviously, Hopper/Thompson’s notion of “Transitivity” bears close resemblance to the prototypical event as described by Dowty (1991). Passivization decreases the structural, semantic, and aspectual asymmetry between the participants in a clause – and thus decreases transitivity. 4. Functions of the passive – a preliminary sketch Choosing the passive over the active means breaking up the standard alignment of arguments and syntactic positions associated with active voice.

15. com on Oct. 23, 2003, to bring up these data. At the time, this tool allowed for simple word searches in 120,000 books. Throughout this book, bold font is added to highlight certain passages in the examples. 28 Chapter 2 The English passive and linguistic theory For the following discussion, let us sum up the definition of the passive used throughout this book: – Morphology: Passives in English are morphologically marked. The core of the passive is the passive participle. For discussion as to whether this is the same form as, or a form homophonous with, the past participle, see chapter 3.

1999: 940) found that “there is a clear tendency for the subject to be shorter than the agent phrase” in passives with by-phrases. This is in line with the assumption that the NP in the subject position expresses given information. Results from quantitative studies also confirm that for long passives (i. e. passives with by-phrases) there is a clear tendency for the subject to have a “higher level of givenness” (Biber et al. 1999: 941) than the agent phrase. A more structural effect of moving the object to the subject position is that the moved phrase can undergo syntactic processes that target the subject position.

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