The Japanese "passive" construction with the verb stem formant -(r)are-has dual semantic functions. In some uses it indicates that the action's effects impinge emotively and/or psychologically on the subject, while in other uses the special effective nuance is absent. This distinction of semantic functions is shown to correlate with a distinction in the inherent aspectual character (Aktionsart) of verbally denoted actions, the deed/attribute distinction. A -(r)are- verb denoting a concrete action, or deed, implicates an abrupt change of circumstances having immediate effects on the subject's emotional and/or psychological situation; while processes and other nonconcrete actions, expressed through -(r)are-'s attributive use, implicate less immediate changes of the subject's state. In sum, the manner in which the action proceeds conditions the specific type of affect with which it is associated; both uses of -(r)are- are affective in distinct ways. These findings suggest the need to reconsider prior formal accounts of 'passive' -(r)are- constructions as rule-conditioned alternates of corresponding sentences without -(r)are-.
1993. Some theoretical aspects of diathesis. In Sprache - Kommunikation - Informatik, ► pp. 17 ff.
Davis, Philip W. & Ross Saunders
1989. Language and intelligence: The semantic unity of -m- in Bella Coola. Lingua 78:2-3 ► pp. 113 ff.
May, Thor, David Bradley & Tasaku Tsunoda
1986. Shorter notices. Australian Journal of Linguistics 6:2 ► pp. 297 ff.
Song, Jae J.
1988. ‘NEWSWORTHINESS’ AND THE USE OF ACTIVE AND PASSIVE IN KOREAN. Studia Linguistica 42:1 ► pp. 49 ff.
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