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|Title:||Syntax and Semantics of the Passive Construction in Selected South Asian Languages|
|Author(s):||Pandharipande, Rajeshwari V.|
|Department / Program:||Linguistics|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Abstract:||The present study is intended as a contribution to the study of syntax and semantics of the Passive construction in six South Asian languages (i.e., five Indo-Aryan languages - Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, Kashmiri, Punjabi, and one Dravidian language - Kannada). The major points of focus are as follows: (1) Chapter II describes, compares, and contrasts the linguistic features of the passive construction in the above languages. (2) Chapter III examines the adequacy of the definitions of Passive proposed in Relational Grammar (i.e., Johnson 1974, Keenan 1975, Postal and Perlmutter 1974) and points out that (a) relational categories (subject, etc.) are not discrete entities and that their properties vary from language to language therefore, they cannot be treated as the 'foundation' of the syntactic structure of language, and (b) neither subject-demotion nor object-demotion is complete in Passive in the above languages. (3) In Chapter IV the functions which are performed exclusively by Passive sentences are determined. It is argued with evidence that syntax, semantics, and pragmatics play a role in determining these functions in the above languages. Evidence is also provided for assuming the existence of the Passive rule in the above languages. (4) Chapter V points out that exceptions to Passive are regular and systematic across the languages under focus, i.e., they express a volitional act, while verbs which undergo Passive typically express a volitional act. It is claimed that Passive in the above languages may be labelled as a governed rule (Green 1976) since it admits a semantic class of verbs in its structural description. It is also proposed that exceptions can be used as a parameter to define constraints on syntactic rules. (5) Chapter VI focuses on the syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of the postpositions/suffixes which mark the agent in the Passive sentences in the above languages. The conditions which determine the choice of postpositions/suffixes are discussed. (6) Finally, theoretical/empirical implications of the discussion of the above topics are discussed in Chapter VII.
This study is also important for the study of (a) the typology of the Passive construction and (b) the hypothesis about 'India as a linguistic area' (Emeneau 1956, Masica 1976).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2014-12-15|