S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) SNU working papers in English language and linguistics SNU working papers in English language and linguistics Vol.11 (2013)
To Be or To Get? Diachronic and Synchronic Considerations on Get- and Be- passives
- Byun, Junghee
- Issue Date
- SNU Working Papers in English Linguistics and Language, Vol.11, pp. 1-19
- grammaticalization; get-passive; be-passive; middle voice; corpus study; multifunctionality of get
- This paper aims at expounding on historical development of grammaticalization of the get passive to compare with the be passive and pursuing reflections upon the contemporary usage of the two passives. Established as a prototype of passive voice from OE, the be-passive has long gained the most general use in English grammar. On the contrary, the get-passive which emerged from ME out of the need to distinguish dynamic meaning with static one, mixed in the OE passive forms, has reached its maturation by
the17century. Givón’s hypothesis on the steps of grammaticalization process (1994) is drawn to elaborate discussion of grammaticalization of get passive in comparison with the relative frequency of other get constructions. Lastly, the implications of diachronic considerations into the contemporary usage of be and get passives will be highlighted in terms of the style, their lexical meanings, the responsibility of the subject in passive sentence and middle interpretation of getpassive.