Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

A corpus-based analysis of the Swedish passive alternation

  • Ludovic De Cuypere (a1), Kristof Baten (a2) and Gudrun Rawoens (a3)

Abstract

This article presents a corpus-based investigation of the motivations behind the use of the s-passive and the bli-passive in contemporary written Swedish. Following a probabilistic approach to language variation and building on observations in the literature, we examine the simultaneous effects of semantic and syntactic factors by means of a multivariate statistical analysis. Our corpus sample includes 1,197 passive sentences of three Swedish verbs, which alternate in their use of the passive (acceptera ‘accept’, behandla ‘treat’ and välja ‘choose’). The results suggest that the choice of passive form is significantly associated with five predictor variables: Subject Animacy, Subject Number, Modal Verb, Av-phrase (‘by’-phrase) and Aktionsart. Among these, Subject Animacy and Modal Verb appear to yield the strongest impact effect on the choice of passive form. The study adds to earlier research in that it allows for a more accurate analysis of the simultaneous effect and relative strength of each factor on the speaker's choice of one of the passive forms.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Åfarli, Tor. 2006. Passive and argument structure. In Abraham, Werner & Leisiö, Larisa (eds.), Passivization and Typology: Form and Function (Typological Studies in Language 68), 373382. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Askedal, John Ole. 2010. Germanic passive constructions. In Askedal, John Ole, Roberts, Ian & Matsushita, Tomonori (eds.), Noam Chomsky and Language Descriptions, 75110. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Baayen, Harald. 2008. Analyzing Linguistic Data: A Practical Introduction to Statistics Using R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Barðdal, Jóhanna & Molnár, Valéria. 2003. The passive in Icelandic – compared to Mainland Scandinavian. In Hetland, Jorunn & Molnár, Valéria (eds.), Structures of Focus and Grammatical Relations (Linguistische Arbeiten 477), 231260. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.
Bod, Rens, Hay, Jennifer & Jannedy, Stefanie (eds.). 2003. Probabilistic Linguistics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Bresnan, Joan. 2007. Is syntactic knowledge probabilistic? Experiments with the English dative alternation. In Featherston, Sam & Sternefeld, Wolfgang (eds.), Roots: Linguistics in Search of Its Evidential Base, 7796. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Bresnan, Joan, Cueni, Anna, Nikitina, Tatiana & Baayen, Harald. 2007. Predicting the Dative Alternation. In Boume, Gerlof, Kraemer, Irene & Zwarts, Jan (eds.), Cognitive Foundations of Interpretation, 6994. Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Science.
Bresnan, Joan & Ford, Marilyn. 2010. Predicting syntax: Processing dative constructions in American and Australian varieties of English. Language 86 (1), 186213.
Engdahl, Elisabet. 1999. The choice between bli-passive and s-passive in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. Ms., Göteborg University. http://www.svenska.gu.se/digitalAssets/1336/1336829_engdahl-nordsem-passivechoice-1999.pdf (accessed 15 December 2013).
Engdahl, Elisabet. 2001. Valet av passivform i modern svenska. Svenskans beskrivning 24, 8190. [Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings, http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/006/007/ecp00607b.pdf, accessed 15 December 2013]
Engdahl, Elisabet. 2006. Semantic and syntactic patterns in Swedish passives. In Lyngfelt, Benjamin & Solstad, Torgrim (eds.), Demoting the Agent: Passive, Middle and Other Voice Phenomena, 2145. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Enger, Hans-Olav. 2001. Om s-passivens relasjoner til modalitet, aspekt og kasus. Tijdschrift voor Skandinavistiek 22 (2), 411–133.
Faarlund, Jan Terje, Lie, Svein & Vannebo, Kjell Ivar. 1997. Norsk referansegrammatikk. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
Ford, Marilyn & Bresnan, Joan. 2013. Using convergent evidence from psycholinguistics and usage. In Krug, Manfred & Schlüter, Julia (eds.), Research Methods in Language Variation and Change, 295312. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Fox, John. 2003. Effect displays in R for generalised linear models. Journal of Statistical Software 8 (15), 127.
Fox, John & Weinberg, Sanford. 2011. An R Companion to Applied Regression, 2nd edn.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hansen, Eskil. 1991. Passiv i moderne norsk. I: Språknytt. Språkrådet. [http://www.sprakradet.no/Toppmeny/Publikasjoner/Spraaknytt/Arkivet/Eldre/Passiv_i_moderne_norsk, accessed 14 May 2014]
Hansen, Erik & Heltoft, Lars. 2011. Grammatik over det Danske Sprog, vols. I–III. Odense: Danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab (DSL) og Syddansk Universitetsforlag.
Hansen, Maj-Britt Mosegaard. 2008. Particles at the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface: Synchronic and Diachronic Issues, a Study with Special Reference to the French Phasal Adverbs. Oxford: Elsevier.
Harrell, Frank E. Jr. 2013. rms: Regression Modeling Strategies. R package version 4.0–0. http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=rms.
Heltoft, Lars 1994. S-modus og perifrastisk modus. In Jörgensen, Nils, Platzack, Christer & Svensson, Jan (eds.), Språkbruk, grammatik och språkförändring. En festskrift till Ulf Teleman, 155165. Lund: Lund University.
Heltoft, Lars & Jakobsen, Lisbeth Falster. 1996. Danish passives and subject positions as a mood system: A content analysis. In Engberg-Pedersen, Elisabeth, Fortescue, Michael, Harder, Peter, Heltoft, Lars & Jakobsen, Lisbeth Falster (eds.), Content, Expression and Structure: Studies in Danish Functional Grammar, 199234. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Hosmer, David W., Hosmer, Trina, le Cessie, Saskia & Lemeshow, Stanley. 1997. A comparison of goodness-of-fit tests for the logistic regression model. Statistics in Medicine 16, 965980.
Husband, Edward Matthew. 2012. Some structural analogies between existential interpretation and telicity. In Cuervo, María Cristina & Roberge, Yves (eds.), The End of Argument Structure? (Syntax and Semantics 38), 105129. Bingley: Emerald.
Kirri, Arto. 1975. Studier över passivkonstruktioner i nysvenskt skriftspråk (Meddelanden från Institutionen för nordisk filologi vid Helsingfors universitet. Serie A, nr. 2). Helsingfors: Helsingfors universitet.
Laanemets, Anu. 2004. Dannelse og anvendelse af passiv i dansk, norsk og svensk (Nordistica Tartuensia 11). Tartu: Tartu University.
Laanemets, Anu. 2009. The passive voice in written and spoken Scandinavian. In Fryd, Marc (ed.), The Passive in Germanic Languages, GAGL 49, 144166. Groningen: University of Groningen, Center for Language and Cognition Groningen.
Laanemets, Anu. 2012. Passiv i moderne dansk, norsk og svensk. Et korpusbaseret studie af tale- og skriftsprog. Tartu: University of Tartu Press.
Larsson, Ida. 2012. Inte helt passiv: konstruktion med + particip i tal och skrift. Språk och stil NF 22 (2), 2656.
Lyngfelt, Benjamin. 2010. En akademiledamot pensioneras inte – om konstruktioner med s-verb i svenskan. In Jóhannesson, Kristinn, Larsson, Ida, Magnusson Petzell, Erik, Malmgren, Sven-Göran, Rogström, Lena & Sköldberg, Emma (eds.), Bo65. Festskrift till Bo Ralph, 178192. Göteborg: Meijerbergs arkiv för svensk ordforskning.
Mikkelsen, Kristian. 1911. Dansk Ordföjningslære. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag.
R Core Team. 2013. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. http://www.R-project.org/ (accessed 5 November 2013).
Rawoens, Gudrun & Johansson, Annika. 2014. A corpus-based contrastive study of impersonal passives in Swedish and Dutch. Ms., Ghent University and Stockholm University.
Silén, Beatrice. 1997. Agentadverbialet i modern svenska (Studier i nordisk filologi 76). Helsingfors: Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland. [Ph.D. dissertation]
Sundman, Marketta. 1983. Control, subject and voice in Swedish. In Karlsson, Fred (ed.), Papers from the Seventh Scandinavian Conference of Linguistics, 101112. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, Department of General Linguistics.
Teleman, Ulf, Hellberg, Staffan & Andersson, Erik. 1999. Svenska Akademiens Grammatik, vol. IV. Stockholm: Svenska Akademien.
Thorell, Olof. 1973. Svensk grammatik. Stockholm: Esselte Studium.
Western, August. 1921. Norsk riksmåls-grammatikk for studerende og lærere. Kristiania: Aschehoug.
Zola Christensen, Robert & Christensen, Lisa. 2005. Dansk Grammatik. Odense: Syddansk universitetsforlag.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

A corpus-based analysis of the Swedish passive alternation

  • Ludovic De Cuypere (a1), Kristof Baten (a2) and Gudrun Rawoens (a3)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.