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Passive as a feature-suppression operation

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Abstract

The major goal of this article is to examine some properties of the passive crosslinguistically and the ensuing ramifications for a universal theory of the passive. Building on my previous work (Kallulli 2006a, b), this article argues for a uniform derivation of the passive and the anticausative construction. The main claim is that passives and anticausatives differ only with respect to the respective building blocks that enter syntactic computation but both arise through the same operation, namely suppression of a feature in <i>v</i>. Passive constructions across languages can be made compatible by relegating the differences to simple combinatorial properties of verb and prepositional types and their interactions with other event functors/aspectual operators, which are in turn encoded differently morphologically across languages.

References

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