On Jun 16, 2013, at 1:31 AM, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > On 16/06/2013 00:07, James Kane wrote: >> Hi all > [snip] >>> >>> For both of these constructions, it's simply >>> verb-subject-direct.object >> >> Is there some inherent reason that this is a weird way >> to do it? > > Well, yes, there is. This has been debated before on this > list. The complement of the copula (if a language uses a > verb as copula) is not the same as the direct object. In IE > languages the direct object can _always_ become the subject > of a passive verb, e.g. > The cat chased the mouse --> The mouse was chased [by the cat]. > > (A few, like English, can also promote the indirect object > to become the subject of a passive; but that is unusual.) > > You cannot promote the predicate of the copula in the same, e.g. > John is a teacher --> *A teacher is been [by John]. > > The latter is simply not possible. True; good point. But I wonder if anyone could fill me in on how the copula, at least in English and Romance, ever developed a passive participle in the first place, if the copula can't be made passive (as a finite verb)?