De extrapositie van het subject in passieve zinnen - Diachrone trends en motivaties | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5845
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1171


This paper presents a diachronic case study of extraposition of subjects in passive clauses with a finite form of the auxiliary verb worden ‘to become’. The data are taken from a historical corpus of legal texts dating from 1250 until 1800. The study shows that subjects of passive clauses appear relatively frequently in extraposition in view of the fact that subjects in general encode highly topical participants, which are preferably placed in the beginning of the clause. This is explained by the fact that subjects of passive clauses encode patient participants, and are thus less topical than more prototypical subjects. Furthermore, the study shows that subjects of worden-clauses are increasingly extraposed in the investigated time period. This development is related to the fact that the grammaticalization of passive clauses is accompanied by an increased usage of sentential subjects, which are systematically placed in extraposition throughout the history of Dutch.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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