Development of <i>thùuk</i> passive marker in Thai

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Based on an approximately four-million-word corpus of Thai and some other related languages covering a time span of seven centuries (from the end of the 13th century to the present time), this study shows that the present passive marker in Thai (<i>thùuk-</i>) has developed from a lexical word originally meaning ‘to touch’ or ‘to hit on the point’. The development of this lexical word into the passive marker involves 8 stages: 1) lexical transitive verb <i>thùuk </i>‘to touch, to hit on the point’ &#62; 2) lexical intransitive verb <i>thùuk </i>‘to be suitable’ &#62; 3) lexical transitive verb <i>thùuk </i>‘to suit’ &#62; 4) modal intransitive verb <i>thùuk </i>‘must, have to, to be obliged to’ &#62; 5) modal intransitive verb <i>thùuk </i>‘to be affected by’ &#62; 6) modal intransitive verb <i>thùuk </i>– adversative passive marker &#62; 7) auxiliary verb <i>thùuk </i>– non-adversative passive marker) &#62; 8) the prefix <i>thùuk</i>-, the true passive marker in Thai.


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