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Passivization

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  • Jan. 3, 2013
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* terms
* verbs

An example of passivization
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The transformation of a sentence from an active form to a passive form. Verb: passivize. Through the process of passivization, the direct object of an active declarative sentence can become the subject of a passive sentence. The opposite of passivization is activization. Both terms were coined by linguist Noam Chomsky. See also:

* Active Voice and Passive Voice
* Deep Structure and Surface Structure
* Inversion
* Practice in Changing Verbs From Passive to Active
* Transformational Grammar
Examples and Observations:
* "Passivisation . . . keeps together those units or bits of language that form a constituent: (i) The man in the service station was seen by Muriel.
(ii) The man was seen by Muriel in the service station."
(Angela Downing and Philip Locke, A University Course in English Grammar. Routledge, 2002)

* "Passivisation allows you to leave out the Actor in Material processes, Experiencer in Mental processes, and Sayer (speaker) in Verbal process clauses:" Material: Poachers killd the elephant - the elephant was killed Mental: Rangers noticed the vultures - the vultures were noticed Verbal: The marksmen told the poacher to freeze - the poacher was told to freeze Sometimes this enables newspapers, for instance, to protect sources by omitting the sayer, or to retail their own opinions as though they were someone...