Article published in:The Lexicon–Syntax Interface: Perspectives from South Asian languages
Edited by Pritha Chandra and Richa Srishti
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 209] 2014
► pp. 149–170
Is Kashmiri passive really a passive?
The present paper explores passives in Kashmiri, a Northwestern Dardic language of the Indo-Aryan family. Though Kashmiri has some special features like V-2 phenomenon, pronominal clitics etc. it has an analytic passive construction like its Indo-Aryan counterparts. The internal argument surfaces as the subject of the passive, where the participial/infinitival verbal form -nI is added to the verb root followed by a periphrastic auxiliary yun ‘to come’ in perfective form. The agent of the action is in the form of athi or zaryi (by/through) and is preferably omitted. This optionality casts a doubt on its status – whether it is an adjunct or an argument. The promotion of the internal argument to the subject position is another key issue. The present paper investigates the above issues and claims that the Kashmiri passive construction is also a kind of ACTIVE-Passive and not really passive as in English. It is argued that in Kashmiri passives, the underlying subject remains an active subject and the underlying object does not become the surface subject. To prove this claim, some tests based on anaphora binding, pronominal co-reference, control, etc. are applied.
Keywords: demotion, detransitivization, passivization, promotion, underlying subject
Published online: 25 March 2014
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