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LIN204 Lec 8 Grammatical Voice.pdf

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Safieh Moghaddam

Lec 8: Grammatical Voice July-26-13 11:15 PM Grammati... Voice = relationship between verb + participants in the sentence e.g. They built a house near the lake. Subj v D.O. (active voice) - the subject does the action = active voice (doer of action is subject) - the D.O. is directly affected by the verb (the undergoer) e.g. The house was built by them. (passive voice) - Subject is not the doer - Passive voice - undergoer is the subject - Doer = them - Undergoer is affected by the verb Active voice: They built a house. Passive voice: A house was built by them. Information Packaging ○ English grammar has a number of ways of packaging info in order to emphasize certain info or to suppress or background other info ○ One of these methods is  PASSIVISATION - - Passive - when focus on the verb (e.g. building .. Of a house) ○ Object is more important than the subject, or sometimes we don’t know the doer. ○ "them" or doer is not known, can be omitted - Passive - focus is on the action - Passive - when don't know the doer (who did the action) or we might know, but it is not important Passive clauses ○ Syntactic criteria for subjecthood ○ - To be a subject = syntactic, - Subject does not mean doer - subject in the structure is the beginning of the sentence before the main verb - Subject is NP before verb - Active subjects = doers ○ Action verbs (e.g. teaching) = subject is doer States (e.g. looks, seems..etc) = subject is experiencer Past participle = come after auxiliaries (be, or have) Agent = doer of action - Theme = event described the verb, undergoer Lexical verb = main verb! Agent and theme = theta roles (meaning, who did the action, what was affected by the verb) Lectures Page 1 Agent and theme = theta roles (meaning, who did the action, what was affected by the verb) Subject and object mean = positions in the sentence - Examples ○ Mary saw the book.  The book was seen by Mary. ○ Bill should eat the pie.  The pie should be eaten by Bill.  (should = modal, modals don't change. Use plain form after modals)  MODAL + be + Past Participle The passive construction ○ -> be + pp of main verb - Interpretation of grammatical voice ○ The boy chased the girl. -> No passive construction (subj interpreted as doer) ○ The boy was chased by the girl -> Passive construction (subj interpreted as undergoer) Passive Clauses ○ Subjects to not always correspond to an ACTOR/DOER. ○ ○ In the first clause "Bill" is both the subject and the actor, while the second clause "Bill" is still the actor but he is no longer the subj "The Caribou" has become the subject. ○ These two types of clauses = ACTIVE and PASSIVE   Active clauses are = default  In ACTIVE clauses = Actor/ doer / experiencer in event (e.g. AGENT) = usually assigned to subj position □ While the entity undergoing the event described by the verb (e.g. THEME) = assigned the obj position  In PASSIVE clauses = reverse ^ Entity undergoing the event = THEME (in subj position) □ □ Actor/participant/experiencer = AGENT (optionally be intro by the preposition "by" □ □ In the simplest cases, active + passive clauses usually correspond: Lectures Page 2 - "by-phrase" (by agent = optional in passive because focus I not on the agent it is on the theme) More examples of Passivisation Optionality of Agents in the Passive ○ The by-phrase containing the agent is optional  ○ The first is called LONG PASSIVE (contain by-phrase w. AGENT) ○ The second is called SHORT PASSIVE (w. Agent OMITTED) - Long passive = with by phrase with agent - Short passive = omit the agent Np2 + (am / is / are) + pp passive - transitive (because it takes an object) Tense in passive clause (chart) - Do not need to know: Past perfect progressive and Future perfect prgressive Simple present = They require some documents. am / is / are + pp object = some documents move it to the front to become subject (NP2 be + pp by NP1) Some documents are required.
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