LINGUIST List 3.976

Fri 11 Dec 1992

Sum: Causative-passive overlap

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  1. , Sum: Causative-passive overlap

Message 1: Sum: Causative-passive overlap

Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1992 12:01 PDTSum: Causative-passive overlap
Subject: Sum: Causative-passive overlap

On Nov. 25 (Linguist List: Vol-3-934), we posted the following question:

>In some Chinese dialects and other languages in South-east China, it
>seems the word for 'give' has grammaticalized not only
>into a benefactive marker, but a "passive" and causative marker as well.
>Can anyone give me references to specific articles that talk about other
>languages where the causative and the passive constructions use the
>same morpheme? Thanks!

We would like to thank Christine Kamprath, Jean-Pierre Koenig, Mark A.
Mandel, Martin Haspelmath, Richard Ogden, Lachlan Mackenzie, Kyunghwan
Kim, Miao-Ling Hsieh, Zygmunt Frajzyngier, Alec Marantz, and Eric
Schiller for answering our request. Following is a summary of the responses:

Languages using the same marker for causative and passive constructions
include Manchu-Tungusic, Mongolian and Turkic languages, Korean,
Japanese, Finnish, French, and English.

***Data provided

(1) Finnish data provided by Richard Ogden:
'passive' in Finnish is more like an impersonal verb. eg 'tanssia'
means to dance, tanssitaan ('passive') means 'dancing is going on'.

here are some examples:

syo"da" = to eat: syo"n leipa"a" I am eating bread
 leipa"a" syo"da"a"n bread is eaten

syo"tta"a" = to feed: syo"ta" kortti put your card in the machine

(The forms don't look identical because of 'consonant gradation', but the
morpheme is -tta- or -ta- in both cases).

na"ke- = see ; na"ky- = to be seen ; na"ytta" = to show
kuule- = hear; kuulu- = to be heard

a useful source is Hakulinen: Structure and Development of the Finnish
Language para 59 & 65 (Indiana University Publications Uralic and Altaic
series vol 3, 1061).

I'm not sure what the -u- does in the seeing and hearing cases. it's
not productive in Finnish, but at one time perhaps it was; it
certainly doesn't make passives like -tta-/-ta. the na"ytta"a" verb
means 'to make something be seen' ie the -tta"- there is a causitive.
the passive verbs always have another bit of morphology as well so
there is never any ambiguity; it's just that piece of morphology which
is the same.

(2) English data was provided by Christine Kamprath, Mark A. Mandel,
Lachlan Mackenzie, and Eric Schiller. A few examples:

 I got kicked in the shins.
 I got myself out of there.
 That behavior got him killed.

(3) Lachlan Mackenzie wrote that
In Dutch, the causative verb *laten* is used with a reflexive
transitive verb to produce a passive with an ability sense:

Ik liet het artikel vertalen
I CAUSPast the article translate
'I had the article translated'

Het artikel laat zich niet vertalen
The article CAUSPres REFL not translate
'The article can't be translated, is untranslatable'

*** References
(1) Cross-linguistic studies

Keenan, Edward. 1985. Passive in the world's languages. Language typology and

syntactic description, Vol. 1, ed. by T. Shopen. CUP.

Haspelmath, Martin . 1990. The grammaticization of passive morphology. Studies
Language 14.1:25-71.

Huang, James. to appear (1992?). When causatives mean passive: A
cross-linguistic perspective. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 2.1.

(2) on French
Eric Pederson and Jean-Pierre Koenig "wrote sthg about the French 'se faire'
construction which contains the causative morpheme,
but in Modern French is used as a passive. But we claimed
that the presence of the reflexive was crucial to
explaining why the construction evolved to be a passive-like
marker. It will published in the next BLS (1992, 18)."

(3) on Korean
Park, Kabyong. 1986. The Lexical Representation of Korean Causatives and
Passives. MA thesis, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Eunil Kim's Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado 1992.

Jeong-Woon Park (UC, dissertation in
on causatives and passives.

(4) on Chinese
Xu, Dan. 1992. Beijing hua zhong de yufa biauzhici "gei" (The
grammatical marker "gei" in the Beijing dialect). Fangyan 1992.1:54-60.

Hashimoto, Mantaro. 1987. Hanyu beidongshi de lishi quyu fazhan (the
historical and geographical development of passive construction in
Chinese). Zhongguo yuwen 1987.1:36-49.

Thanks again to everyone who responded.

Randy LaPolla Ivy Y. Cheng
Inst. of History & Philology Inst. of Linguistics
Academia Sinica Tsing-Hua University
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