Passives in Germanic Languages: the case of Dutch and German

Valia Kordoni; Gertjan van Noord

In: Groninger Arbeiten zur Germanistischen Linguistik (GAGL), Vol. 49, Pages 77-96, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, 2010.


In this paper, we examine the syntactic behaviour of agentive and recipient passives in Dutch and German. Despite the fact that passives in Germanic languages have been discussed quite extensively in the literature (e.g., Haider (1984), Reis (1986)), no accounts exist that provide evidence which convincingly support the to-date predominant analyses of these phenomena as raising structures (Müller (2002; 2003)). Thus, in our effort to provide a uniform syntactic analysis of passives in Germanic languages, we are looking at equi structures, as well as raising phenomena, also in relation to case in Germanic languages, for as far as passivisation phenomena are concerned the challenge lies in the fact that recipient passives exhibit a change in the case value of arguments that maintain their case in agentive passives. The paper provides an elaborate discussion of all related phenomena, proposing as an outcome a well founded and motivated uniform raising syntactic analysis in Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (henceforward HPSG, Pollard & Sag (1994)) for the agentive and the recipient passives in both Dutch and German. 2. The Data 2.1 Dutch Passives The following are examples of the main passives in Dutch:12 (1) (a) Peter kust haar. Peter-SUBJ kisses her- OBJ1 ‘Peter kisses her.’ (b) Zij wordt gekust (door Peter). she- SUBJ

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence