Passive Diathesis

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


So far we have dealt with constructions considered by a number of scholars to be passive. In this chapter, we will analyse what we termed the passive diathesis (see Section 2.2), i.e. certain constructions with the undergoer-orientation, but without the overt marking of the passive. The passive diathesis tends to be language-specific, unlike the quasipassive, which we will analyse in the following chapter. English has four such constructions, and we have already briefly seen two types of unaccusative in Chapter 6, examples (64) (i.e. unaccusative-middle) and (65) (i.e. unaccusative in progressive). The other two are related to modality. The modality domain contains clauses with an adjective with the suffix -able (potentiality) and the construction type This TV needs fixing (obligation).


Epistemic Modality Passive Reading Past Participle Potential Passive Prison Officer 
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Copyright information

© Junichi Toyota 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junichi Toyota
    • 1
  1. 1.Lund UniversitySweden

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