Functional Change and Voice Continuum

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


In this chapter, I analyse how functions contributed to the formation of the verbal passive and interacted with semantic and syntactic aspects of the passive throughout the history of English, concentrating on topicalisation and impersonalisation. Various aspects of grammar, such as word order, are incorporated in relation to the topicality. A comparison is also made between the periphrastic passive and the morphological passive, in order to highlight the semantic characteristics of the periphrastic passive both synchronically and diachronically. The origin of topicality changes in the passive is identified, and I point out that there are two types of origins involved in the passive. Finally, I introduce voice continuum and analyse the gradient nature of the passive.


Word Order Conceptual Space Subordinate Clause Past Participle Adjectival Passive 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Junichi Toyota 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junichi Toyota
    • 1
  1. 1.Lund UniversitySweden

Personalised recommendations