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  1. #1
    M56 Guest

    Default Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    I can't see why not. I don't think it's particularly elegant, but can't complain about it. I'd head for the passive, though.

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    Default Re: Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    Can "passivize" be used intransitively?
    The word "passivize" is formed by adding -ize to the adjective "passive", and as a verb it's transitive.

    Now, if you were to ask if intransitive verbs have passive structures, that would be a different story.

  4. #4
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    The word "passivize" is formed by adding -ize to the adjective "passive", and as a verb it's transitive.

    Now, if you were to ask if intransitive verbs have passive structures, that would be a different story.
    And yet the OED gives "passivize" as both trans. and intrans.

    On many other sites I have also "asked" if intransitive verbs can passivize.

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    Default Re: Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    And yet the OED gives "passivize" as both trans. and intrans.
    Allow me to add the intransitive example:

    e.g., Only transitive verbs can passivize.


    But if it were intransitive, it wouldn't have a passive form, right? Consider,

    The intranstive verb passivize was just passivized.

  6. #6
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Allow me to add the intransitive example:

    e.g., Only transitive verbs can passivize.


    But if it were intransitive, it wouldn't have a passive form, right? Consider,

    The intranstive verb passivize was just passivized.
    I would say it depends on if one sees the verb as inchoative or causative.

    E.G:

    Causatives: X-ize = to cause to become X(ed).

    Therefore: The student passivized the sentence.

    Inchoatives: X-ize = to become X(ed):

    Only intransitive verbs can passivize.

    "Passivize" seems to me to be an ergative form, wherein it can be used both transitively and intransitively without changing the meaning and there is an implied outside agent participating in the action.

    E.G. The bureaucrat bribed easily.

    The colours harmonized well.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by M56; 24-Jan-2005 at 13:51.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    I'm not sure that I would see 'bribe' as inchoative.

  8. #8
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'm not sure that I would see 'bribe' as inchoative.
    <<ergative>>

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    Default Re: Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    "Passivize" seems to me to be an ergative form, wherein it can be used both transitively and intransitively without changing the meaning and there is an implied outside agent participating in the action.

    What do you think?
    Well, it's one and the same evidence given by a poster on EnglishForums.com, isn't it?

    To me, the OED sentence expresses a reflexive agent: The verbs can passivize (themselves). In terms of semantics, "passivize" is not really transitive--it does in fact take an object, albeit an unrealized object, like "sing", "eat", and other verbs, where the inchoative, ergative argument walks in.

  10. #10
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Can "passivize" be used intransitively?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Well, it's one and the same evidence given by a poster on EnglishForums.com, isn't it?

    To me, the OED sentence expresses a reflexive agent: The verbs can passivize (themselves). In terms of semantics, "passivize" is not really transitive--it does in fact take an object, albeit an unrealized object, like "sing", "eat", and other verbs, where the inchoative, ergative argument walks in.
    To me, the OED sentence expresses a reflexive agent: The verbs can passivize (themselves).
    I see that, yes, but how then do you see these two?


    The leaf falls.

    The tear drops.

    As reflexive? Or as having an implied external agent?

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