Edited By Małgorzata Fabiszak, Karolina Krawczak and Katarzyna Rokoszewska
The Role of Constructional Factors in Passivization Infinitival Passives of Perception Verbs
This study explores the interconnections between a verb’s complementation pattern and the frequency and collocational preferences of its passive uses. It is based on the infinitival passives of three perception verbs: see, hear and feel. First, distinctive collexeme analysis is used to determine the strength of association of the infinitive complement construction with voice, as well as the association of specific types of complement verbs with the active and the passive version of the pattern. Subsequently, multiple correspondence analysis of a data sample is conducted in order to investigate the differences and similarities between the individual perception verbs. The results indicate that the verbs are characterized by different degrees of resemblance between the active and passive versions of their infinitival complement construction.
English verbs of perception passivize relatively easily, yet the frequency of their passive usage varies between particular senses of the verbs and their different complementation patterns. The passive of the verb see, for instance, is characterized by an increase in the number of non-finite complement constructions and is more likely to describe mental rather than visual perception (Podhorodecka, forth.). Similarly, Noël (2003: 20) observes that for the verb see complemented by the NP + to-infinitve pattern, the passive uses vastly outnumber the active ones and show a greater distributional potential. Such tendencies indicate that the differences between the active and passive of perception verbs go beyond the basic difference in the information structure and emphasis, which is yet another...
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