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From 3ptl-to passive : incipient, emergent and established passives

Siewierska, Anna (2010) From 3ptl-to passive : incipient, emergent and established passives. Diachronica: International Journal for Historical Linguistics, 27 (1). pp. 73-109. ISSN 0176-4225

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    Abstract

    This paper explores, in some detail, the development of third person plural impersonal constructions into passive ones with the aim of determining the conditions most conducive to the emergence of a canonical passive, i.e. one which is both promotional (with an overt lexical subject) and agentive (with an overt agent). On the basis of cross-linguistic data it is argued that the required conditions are, on the one hand, the existence of a morphological alignment which does not distinguish between the O of a transitive clause and the S of a passive one and, on the other hand, the availability of highly grammaticalized third person plural impersonals, i.e. ones which can be used in episodic contexts and with different types of agents, among them individual and specific ones. The documented rarity of promotional passives originating from third person plural impersonal constructions is attributed to the rarity of the coincidence of the above two sets of independent factors.

    Item Type: Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Diachronica: International Journal for Historical Linguistics
    Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
    Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Linguistics & English Language
    ID Code: 27267
    Deposited By: Professor Anna Siewierska
    Deposited On: 14 Oct 2009 14:45
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 16:40
    Identification Number:
    URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/27267

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