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Title: Getting at the passive : functions of passive-types in English
Author: Thompson, Dominic
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 6849
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2012
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To describe a transitive event, the English language allows a choice of two Voices. The canonical form is the active-voice, and the alternative is the passive-voice, which offers its own semantic and syntactic functions. The passive-voice can also be divided into two further variants: be-passives and get-passives. Though theories are numerous, literature from both Linguistics and Psychology falls short in describing the functions and uses of these two forms. In this thesis, I present a rethink of passive syntactic representation, simplifying its description under a single structural unit. The proposed pvP theory allows for the variation between the two passive-types, while accounting for the features that are shared by all passive forms. I also present several experiments that explore the differing semantics and syntax of be-passives and get-passives. The results of these studies show a clear preference for the be-passive over the get-passive, especially in self-reporting and tasks that allow self-correction. However, it is also clear that, though there is overlap between them, each form serves its own purposes and exhibits preference for use in specific contexts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; P Philology. Linguistics