Components of be-passive and their Historical Change

  • Junichi Toyota
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Language History nad Language Change book series (PSLHL)


In this chapter, each component of the verb phrase ‘be + past participle’ is analysed. The results in Table 2.2 indicate the aspectual change, but, as hinted at in the discussion of Table 2.7, we need to look at auxiliary and past participle separately in order to understand the change better. For auxiliary, we look at the status of be as auxiliary and some particular syntactic constructions with the passive. As for the past participle, we look at various characteristics such as the suffix -ed, the prefix ge-, verbs with two different forms, stative verbs and prepositional verb phrases. These various features will clarify the grammaticalisation of the be-passive.


Word Order Historical Change Thematic Role Past Participle Perfective Aspect 
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Copyright information

© Junichi Toyota 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junichi Toyota
    • 1
  1. 1.Lund UniversitySweden

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