Passives Beyond and Within: current views on the syntax, semantics and morphology of passives
Convenor: Sławomir Zdziebko, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Plenary speaker: Rafael Marín (University of Lille, Charles de Gaulle)
To say that passive structures have featured prominently in the development of linguistic theory since the second half of the 20th century is probably an understatement. The regularity and productivity of (among others) passive constructions were treated as arguments for the insufficiency of phrase structure component for the exhaustive description of language already in Chomsky (1957). Starting from the 1970s the properties of certain non-canonical passive constructions (impersonal passives) have been extensively investigated within the major rival of the Extended Standard Theory: the framework of Relational Grammar (see e.g. Perlmutter 1978). In Wasow’s (1977) paper the existence of two types of passive constructions was used as an argument for the necessity of the division of labour between the transformational component and lexical redundancy rules. The claim that one variety of passives, often referred to as ‘adjectival’, are derived by means of lexical operations has provoked a heated debate with some scholars arguing in its favour (see Smirniotopoulos 1992 for Greek, Tal and Siloni 2008 for Hebrew) and others arguing against it (see e.g. Bruening 2014). Such core properties of passive constructions as the inability to assign the accusative case and lack of the external argument provided the key motivation for the basic versions of two fundamental principles of the Government and Binding Theory: the Case Filter and Theta Criterion (Chomsky 1981). The investigations of the properties of passive constructions in the 21st century have focused on the syntax and semantics of arguments introduced by passives as well as their eventive semantics or lack of thereof (see Anagnostopoulou 2003, Embick 2004, Kibort 2012, Gehrke 2015, Alexiadou et al. 2015, Maienborn et al. 2016 among others).
The aim of the current workshop is to put together the researchers working on the vital syntactic, semantic and morphological properties of different types of passive constructions in different languages and to promote the discussion concerning those vital properties of passives from the point of view of a wide range of different theoretical frameworks. Some of the issues that the workshop is planning to investigate are:
- What is the status of arguments found in passives?
- How to model the ambiguous categorical status of passive participles?
- How to model the complex behaviour of passives with respect to event modification?
- Are there passives of intransitive verbs? If yes, what is their status?
- What is the cross-linguistic status of non-canonical passives?
- Why do only some languages possess impersonal passives?
See this call for papers for more information about the workshop: