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.