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The “recipient passive” in West Slavic: A calque from German and its grammaticalization


Giger, Markus (2012). The “recipient passive” in West Slavic: A calque from German and its grammaticalization. In: Wiemer, Björn; Wälchli, Bernhard; Hansen, Björn. Grammatical replication and borrowability in language contact. Berlin-New York: De Gruyter, 559-588.

Abstract

Among the European languages with a participial passive, there are some that tend to distinguish dynamic passive and object resultative through the use of different auxiliaries, e.g. English, Italian or German. In German, the difference is obligatory, and the German difference between the werden-passive and the sein-resultative had an influence on several neighboring languages (Polish, Sorbian, Swiss Retoromansh, Hungarian). Only partly compatible with this area, there is another subareal in which a recipient passive is built by using verbs with the meaning ‘get’ as auxiliaries. Again, the origin has to be sought in German, but more or less grammaticalized recipient passives can be found in Sorbian (with the auxiliary borrowed in dialects and calqued in the standard), Czech, and Slovak (the auxiliary is a calque here). In the paper, corpus material from Upper Sorbian is compared to former descriptions of the recipient passive in Czech and Slovak, all by taking into account the situation in different varieties of German.
As a result of the comparison, it seems that there is stronger grammaticalization of the recipient passive in Sorbian dialects than in Czech, which is probably due to the fact that the Sorbian construction came into being earlier than the Czech one (evidence from 19th-century Upper Sorbian and Czech is given in the paper). While in Sorbian the construction perfectly resembles its German counterpart (including differences in grammaticalization and style between dialectal use and use in the standard language), in Czech there are some peculiarities in the choice of the full verbs used in the recipient passive that do not agree with either Standard German or East Middle German dialects. For these reasons, the process leading to the formation of the recipient passive can be analyzed as polysemy copying in Sorbian, but as replica grammaticalization in Czech. The recipient passive in Slovak seems to be dependent on Czech rather than on German.

Abstract

Among the European languages with a participial passive, there are some that tend to distinguish dynamic passive and object resultative through the use of different auxiliaries, e.g. English, Italian or German. In German, the difference is obligatory, and the German difference between the werden-passive and the sein-resultative had an influence on several neighboring languages (Polish, Sorbian, Swiss Retoromansh, Hungarian). Only partly compatible with this area, there is another subareal in which a recipient passive is built by using verbs with the meaning ‘get’ as auxiliaries. Again, the origin has to be sought in German, but more or less grammaticalized recipient passives can be found in Sorbian (with the auxiliary borrowed in dialects and calqued in the standard), Czech, and Slovak (the auxiliary is a calque here). In the paper, corpus material from Upper Sorbian is compared to former descriptions of the recipient passive in Czech and Slovak, all by taking into account the situation in different varieties of German.
As a result of the comparison, it seems that there is stronger grammaticalization of the recipient passive in Sorbian dialects than in Czech, which is probably due to the fact that the Sorbian construction came into being earlier than the Czech one (evidence from 19th-century Upper Sorbian and Czech is given in the paper). While in Sorbian the construction perfectly resembles its German counterpart (including differences in grammaticalization and style between dialectal use and use in the standard language), in Czech there are some peculiarities in the choice of the full verbs used in the recipient passive that do not agree with either Standard German or East Middle German dialects. For these reasons, the process leading to the formation of the recipient passive can be analyzed as polysemy copying in Sorbian, but as replica grammaticalization in Czech. The recipient passive in Slovak seems to be dependent on Czech rather than on German.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Slavonic Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:05 Sep 2013 11:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:56
Publisher:De Gruyter
Series Name:Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs
Number:242
ISSN:1861-4302
ISBN:978-3-11-027197-3

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