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ERIC Number: ED402793
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Transfer of Perspective in the Indirect Passive.
Suzuki, Hiroko
A study investigated how Japanese learners of English conceptualize the meanings of Japanese sentences in the indirect passive voice, a structure unique to Japanese, and how they express their interpretations in English. Subjects were university freshmen in two cohorts (81 in 1991, 35 in 1994). They read a dialogue in English, then completed a statement in it by translating a Japanese sentence, given orally. This was repeated 12 times with different dialogues. The sentences composed by the subjects were classified by structural type. In one dialogue, the largest proportion were causative (e.g., "I had my wallet stolen"); the second largest proportion were direct, ungrammatical, translations of the indirect passive construction ("I was stolen my wallet"). It appeared difficult for Japanese subjects to produce an unknown subject "someone" as an agent, since it is not implied in the Japanese sentence and it isn't necessary to form an indirect passive in this context. However, in other dialogues this type of transfer was not always made. It is concluded that Japanese grammar distinguishes clearly between situations in which the speaker expresses his own state and those in which he explains others' such states. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A