Aspects on Passives

Berit Gehrke, Antonino Grillo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this paper, we propose that movement of the consequent state of a structurally complex event to a discourse-related position right about vP is the fundamental characteristic of passive constructions. This assumption is supported not only by the semantics of passives but also by the fact that it provides a natural account of many of their syntactic properties, some of which are left unaccounted for in previous approaches. More generally, we give a principled explanation, based on the availability of a consequent state reading, of why some predicates do not form good passives. Psycholinguistics data provide further arguments to support our hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ConSOLE XIV
EditorsSylvia Blaho, Eric Schoorlemmer, Luis Vicente
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • syntax
  • semantics
  • passivization
  • event structure
  • sentence processing

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