On some Hungarian means of expression of passive contents

A corpus-based study





voice, passive, corpus-based, adverbial participle constructions, impersonal 3PL constructions


Hungarian is widely considered as a language without any productive morphological passive, while some linguists insist on the idea of a Hungarian analytical stative passive. This paper examines the use of genuine morphosyntactic word formation means and alternatives which express passive contents, focusing mainly on the clause level. According to the mainstream definition of passive in cognitive linguistics, passive is defined as a reversal of the focal participants (trajector and landmark). After an overview of the most important functions of the usage of passive, the paper discusses Hungarian means of expression for passive content and
passive-equivalents known and described in the Hungarian literature.

The theoretical part is followed by the presentation of an empirical survey concerning the means of expression of passive in Hungarian. The first analysis investigates the constructions expressing passive contents in a corpus consisting of scientific texts in an explorative way. Afterwards, the investigation of the dia-
chronic development of the construction Verb + -va/-ve + lenni/van in several corpora is presented, providing evidence that this construction is more and more productive in the sense of a stative passive. Finally, an analysis of derivations with the inherently middle suffix -ódik/-ődik shows that the use of this construction as a means of expression for passive contents is (still) quite restricted.