Syntax – Passivization English vs. Czech Assignment

Syntax – Passivization English vs. Czech Assignment Words: 858

The passive voice in Czech and English language is used in scientific, technical and formal texts and in manuals. Passive voice is strict and impersonal in both languages Czech and English. There are two forms of a sentence in English and Czech language 1. Active voice 2. Passive voice Passivisation is a proces of creating passive voice by transfering of an active voice. Process of passivisation in English language is forming by discontinuous morpheme BE or GET and past participle of transitive verb. The purpose of creating passive sentences is also to emphasize or omit the Agent.

The task of this assignment is comparing following two sentences: 1. The neighbour damaged the sidewalk with my pickaxe. a) The neighbour: Subject, agent, theme b) damaged: Predicate/Verb in past tense c) the sidewalk: Object, patient, rheme 2. Soused rozbil chodnik mym krumpacem. a) Soused: Subject, agent, theme b) rozbil: Predicate/Verb in past tense c) chodnik: Object, patient, rheme Those sentences are in active voice. If we passivize those sentences we can observe several changes and differences between Czech and English passive voice. 1. The sidewalk was damaged with my pickaxe by my neighbour. ) By my neighbour:object, agent, rheme b) Was damaged:predicate, passivisated verb c) The sidewalk:subject, theme, patient (i)Based on this parsing we can assume that in the process of passivization English sentence, object precedes adverbial particles (with my pickaxe) (ii)Also we can assume that in English passivisation the theme and rheme are exchanging which is relating to order in English sentence which has to remain the same (iii)In passivization of English sentence we have to use preposition by before the object or we can also use other preposition if we have inanimated object 2.

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Chodnik byl rozbit sousedem (s) mym krumpacem. a) Sousedem:agent, adjunct, rheme b) Byl rozbit:predicate, passivisated verb c) Chodnik:patient, subject, theme (i) Based on this parsing we can assume that in the process of passivisation Czech sentence we can not use preposition by or something else as preposition before the object (ii) if we have indirect object (mym krumpacem) we better use the preposition s before inanimate object because we are showing the colocations and specify the meaning (iii)as in English passivization as in Czech passivization we are using discontinuous morpheme BE and past participle of verb.

The main diference between English and Czech passivization is that in English language we can not change the word order, but we can in the Czech language. a) Soused rozbil chodnik mym krumpacem. a’)Soused rozbil mym krumpacem chodnik. b) The neighbour damaged the sidewalk with my pickaxe. b’)*The neighbour damaged with my pickaxe the sidewalk. (i)Those two examples are proving that in Czech language we can place the object at the end of the sentence and adjunct can be placed before the object or at the end of the sentence. ii)Our examples also proving that changes mentioned above in (i) are impossible for the passivization of the English sentences What I want to focus further in my essay is impossibility of passivization reflexives and reciprocals objects in English sentence a) She told herself that she can enjoy her life more. * Herself was told that she can enjoy her life more. a’)Rekla si, ze si muze vic uzivat zivota. Sama si rekla, ze si muze vice uzivat zivota. b) They love each other. * Each other are loved. b’)Oni se vzajemne miluji

Vzajemne jsou (? sebou) milovani (i)From the examples we can assume that passivization in English by reflexives and reciprocals objects is impossible because of the fact that subject can not be reflexives or reciprocals objectives (ii)In Czech language we can use reflexives and reciprocals objects as subject even if it does not sound well but is grammatically correct c) Jim to bylo udelano. The last feature I will focus on will be the main difference in passivization between Czech and English language.

The main difference is it because of not existence of passivization of prepositional verbs in Czech language. In Czech language we do not have any of the prepositional verbs. They are replaced by prepositional prefixes to modify the precise meaning to the verb. a) People are deailing with problems every day. a’)Problems are being dealt with by people every day. (i)Prepositional verbs creates in English language one unit and its imposible to split up them but as we can see in our example the passivization is possible and gramaticaly correct. b) )Lide se staraji o sve domy b’)*Domy jsou starajici se lidmi People are taking care of their’s houses Houses are being taken care of (by people) (ii)As the example show us we can not use the passivisation of prepositional verbs in Czech language. Word order is not accepted, subject is more like object and object is not collocate with any lexical unit in the sentence. From the text above we can assume that Czech and English language have some features common in passivization but most parts are totally different which is based on origin and development of those languages.

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