Vol. 14:2 (1999) ► pp.259–283
Passive in Jamaican Creole
Phonetically Empty But Syntactically Active
Because Jamaican Creole lacks the familiar morphological indicators of the passive that characterize English, its lexifier language, it has sometimes been assumed that Jamaican either lacks a passive, or that its passive is fundamentally different from that of English. However, a Government and Binding analysis explicitly shows that Jamaican Creole has a passive and that it is formed, syntactically, in the same way as morphologically signaled passives, including that of English. The conclusion is that there is, indeed, a passive morpheme in Jamaican Creole which, though devoid of phonetic content, behaves the same as the overt passive morphemes of other languages.
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