Abstract

The view that the gi-clauses and/or their equivalents in other Philippine-type languages, specifically in Cebuano and closely related Bisayan languages, are active constructions has been widely accepted by a number of Austronesian linguists. In a recent study on the gi-verb clauses in Cebuano, however, another linguist reinterprets those with Verb-Patient-Agent (VPA) word order as passive. In this paper, we argue against such an interpretation, based on analyses of the semantics and discourse pragmatics of the gi- and naclauses in spoken data. A gi- attached to a verb implies a deliberate intention of an Agent; a na-clause directs attention to the often accidental effect of an action on a Patient without emphasizing any reference to an Agent. This renders a na-verb construction, especially one in which the Agent is missing, as a much more plausible candidate for passive in Cebuano.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 554-584
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-03
Open Access
No
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