PDF pending restoration
ERIC Number: ED149610
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
The Equivalents of the Finnish Passive Voice in English. Contrastive Papers: Jyvaskyla Contrastive Studies, 4. Reports from the Department of English, No. 4.
Both English and Finnish make use of a category called the passive voice. In most cases these passives correspond to each other, but both are subject to restrictions. This paper attempts to determine how English passives overlap with the semantic area covered by the Finnish passive and what the choices are which face a speaker of Finnish in expressing in English an idea containing an actor who is an implied indefinite person. Among the several characteristics of the Finnish passive, the most striking is the fact that both transitive and intransitive verbs can occur in the passive, whereas in English this is only the case for transitive verbs. Indefinite subjects in English present five choices, "they,""you,""we,""people," or "one," which are conditioned by the speech situation. In addition, "there+be+NP" can be used to fill the subject slot in English, but this is not always translatable by the passive in Finnish. The Finnish passive often corresponds to an English active construction with an instrument, locaLive, or objective in the surface subject slot. Some "actions" which are realized in Finnish in the passive are considered "events" in English and are realized in the active voice. Implications are discussed for teaching the English equivalents of the Finnish passive. (AM)
Descriptors: Case (Grammar), Contrastive Linguistics, Deep Structure, English, English (Second Language), Finnish, Grammar, Language Instruction, Morphology (Languages), Pronouns, Second Language Learning, Semantics, Sentence Structure, Structural Analysis, Surface Structure, Verbs
Department of English, University of Jyvaskyla, 40100 Jyvaskyla 10, Finland
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Jyvaskyla Univ. (Finland). Dept. of English.