Article published in:Grammatical Change in English World-Wide
Edited by Peter Collins
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 67] 2015
► pp. 147–178
Passives of so-called ‘ditransitives’ in nineteenth century and present-day Canadian English
This study focuses on the double-participant verbs assign, bring, deny, give, grant, offer, send, serve, sell, show and teach, and the competition between first passives (He was offered the job), second passives (The job was offered him) and passives with a prepositional complement (The job was offered to him) in matching corpora of 19th century and Present-day Canadian English. The verbs display individual preferences for the first passive and the prepositional construction and the acceptability of their second passives also varies. All in all, the 19th century corpus reveals a clear dominance of passives with a prepositional complement over first passives, whereas the reverse is the case in the contemporary corpus. The second passive is shown to have been a minority form already in the 19th century and to be even rarer today. Keywords: Canadian English; passivisation; ditransitives; 19th century
Published online: 24 February 2015
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