The passive voice in Spanish, English and French

A contrastive corpus-based account of the interaction between different passive structures (FSR, Fonds spéciaux de recherche)

This project offers an in-depth comparison of the panorama of passives and passive-like structures in Spanish, French and English. It will adopt a functional approach and show how a variety of structures are used differently across three languages to express passive meanings (when a patient undergoes an action carried out by a defocused agent): periphrastic passives, reflexive passives, non-specific 3rd person plural forms, man-impersonals and indefinite pronouns based on one. Through an analysis of syntactic, semantic and discursive features in comparable corpora from formal and informal registers of written and spoken communication, it will show differences in productivity, frequency and register-dependency of passive structures in the languages involved.


Members: Emeline Pierre, Barbara De Cock (supervisor)