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Passives in Lithuanian (in comparison with Russian)

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with passives and related phenomena in Lithuanian, namely, actional, statal, and evidential passives (all of these marked with the help of passive participles), and quasi-passives (with reflexive marking). The purpose is to show the features they share and the distinctions between them in the formation, tense paradigms, and functions. Comparisons with Russian are drawn to bring into relief the specific nature of Lithuanian passives and quasi-passives. <br />The passive form of the verb serves the functions of marking (a) syntactic changes, viz. patient promotion and/or agent demotion/deletion, (b) the pragmatic function of highlighting the action denoted by the verb, and (c) semantic functions, i.e. expression of a meaning absent in the active forms, viz. stativization (the meaning of the state resultaing from a prior action) and evidentiality – in the case of statal and evidential passives. The syntactic changes named are not the ultimate goal of passive marking. They in their turn have the pragmatic functions of foregrounding and/or backgrounding of the arguments (cf. Kazenin 2001:907–908). Passive forms are assigned to the class of actional, statal or evidential passives by force of their function. <br /> This paper is based on my previous research on passives, reflexive verbs and resultatives (Geniušiene 1973, 1974, 1987; Geniušiene &#38; Nedjalkov 1988).

References

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