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CONLANG  May 2001, Week 2

CONLANG May 2001, Week 2

Subject:

Re: 'born'

From:

Henrik Theiling <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 8 May 2001 17:13:04 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (26 lines)

Hi!

John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> > John volunteered for the job.
> > John was volunteered for the job [by his wife].
>
> I can't accept this as a mere rule-governed extension of the ordinary "volunteer",
> any more than I can swallow *"John was died by his wife". "Mary volunteered
> John for the job" (your transitivized but not yet passivized form)
> is a piece of irony: transitive "volunteer" in fact means "commandeer".

I agree, I don't swallow it either. In German, it's a common joke to
use exactly these passives to (ungrammatically) coerce an intransitive
to a transitive to add an external force:

  Ach, er ist gestorben??
  Naja, er wurde gestorben.

  Oh, he died?
  Well, he was died. (= he was killed)

But still, it is wrong. Maybe in a few years, it is the common way of
using it without joking (at least in German), not not yet.

**Henrik

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