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LINGUIST List 20.3037

Wed Sep 09 2009

Books: Syntax/Semantics/Text&Corpus Ling: Wanner

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <hannahlinguistlist.org>


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Directory
        1.    Julia Ulrich, Deconstructing the English Passive: Wanner

Message 1: Deconstructing the English Passive: Wanner
Date: 08-Sep-2009
From: Julia Ulrich <julia.ulrichdegruyter.com>
Subject: Deconstructing the English Passive: Wanner
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Title: Deconstructing the English Passive
Series Title: Topics in English Linguistics [TiEL] 41
Published: 2009
Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter
                http://www.mouton-publishers.com

Book URL: http://degruyter.de/cont/fb/sk/detailEn.cfm?id=IS-9783110196320-1

Author: Anja Wanner
Electronic: ISBN: 9783110199215 Pages: 230 Price: U.S. $ 137.00 Comment: for orders placed in North America
Electronic: ISBN: 9783110199215 Pages: 230 Price: Europe EURO 110.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9783110196320 Pages: 230 Price: Europe EURO 98.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9783110196320 Pages: 230 Price: U.S. $ 137.00 Comment: for orders placed in North America
Abstract:

This book analyzes the form and function of the English passive from a
verb-based point of view. It takes the position that the various surface
forms of the passive (with or without thematic subject, with or without
object, with or without by-phrase, with or without auxiliary) have a common
source and are determined by the interplay of the syntactic properties of
the verb and general syntactic principles. Each structural element of the
passive construction is examined separately, and the participle is
considered the only defining component of the passive.

Special emphasis is put on the existence of an implicit argument (usually
an agent) and its representation in the passive. A review of data from
syntax, language acquisition, and psycholinguistics shows that the implicit
agent is not just a conceptually understood argument. It is argued that it
is represented at the level of argument structure and that this is what
sets the passive apart from other patient-subject constructions.

A corpus-based case study on the use of the passive in academic writing
analyzes the use of the passive in this particular register. One of the
findings is that about 20-25% of passives occur in constructions that do
not require an auxiliary, a result that challenges corpus studies on the
use of the passive that only consider full be-passives. It is also shown
that new active-voice constructions have emerged that compete with the
passive without having a more visible agent. The emergence of these
constructions (such as "This paper argues...") is discussed in the context
of changes in the rhetoric of scientific discourse.

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
                            Semantics
                            Syntax
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=43344


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