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Is there a SE FAIRE V-er passive construction?

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Abstract

We observe that SE FAIRE V-er is usually recognized as bearing a passive meaning along with its causative reading. Existing studies, however, show a lack of consensus on whether there is only one primarily causative construction, which may lend itself to a passive reading via pragmatic inference in the appropriate context, or two homonymous constructions. The paper reexamines the question within the framework of Construction Grammar, exploiting Cruse’s notion of ‘microsense’. In this frame, we demonstrate that SE FAIRE V-er has at least two ‘microsenses’ – passive and causative – each associated with one end of the subject referent responsibility continuum.

References

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