Article

The grammaticalization of passives

Björn Wiemer

in The Oxford Handbook of Grammaticalization

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586783
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199586783.013.0043

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 The grammaticalization of passives

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  • Linguistics
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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This article examines the grammaticalisation of the linguistic category of passives. It explains that the notion ‘passive’ comprises morphologically marked devices by which the highest-ranking or single argument of a predicate is syntactically demoted, while a lower-ranking argument can be promoted to a syntactically privileged position. It describes the diachronic relation between the foregrounding and backgrounding passives.

Keywords: passives; grammaticalisation; argument; diachronic relation; foreground passives; backgrounding passives

Article.  4134 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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