Volume 38, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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This large-scale corpus study explores new parameters which might indicate grammaticalization of the -passive in recent American English, where the construction has increased in frequency. To this end, large samples of both - and -passives from the TIME Magazine Corpus were analyzed with regard to tense, aspect, and situation type (). While tense and aspect preferences of the passives were diachronically stable, the results of the situation-type analysis were of interest for two reasons. First, they showed clear differences in the way - and -passives are used which reflect the -passive’s inchoative origins. And second, the diachronic analysis of situation-type preferences for -passives provides a first indication that they may be further grammaticalizing as they begin to behave more like canonical -passives in the most recent data. This finding is tentatively supported by supplementary data from COHA.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): American English; be-passive; get-passive; grammaticalization; situation type
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