The Passive Family in Baltic


Predicative constructions with passive participles in Latvian and Lithuanian exhibit great variation in form, meaning and function, ranging from pure passive to various temporal, aspectual and modal meanings. This paper uses a set of formal and functional parameters to distinguish and profile several types and subtypes of such constructions. These types are mutually related by family resemblance and constitute a ‘Passive Family’. They include dynamic and stative passives, three types of resultatives, several types of subjectless (impersonal) passives, modal constructions expressing possibility or necessity, and evidential constructions. Based on a thorough study of corpus data, the paper not only adds new insights about constructions that were already known, but also presents construction types that have not been discussed in the literature on the Baltic passive before: the Lithuanian cumulative-retrospective construction and the
Latvian cumulative-experiential subtype.


passive, impersonal constructions, cumulative constructions, experiential perfect, evidential, Latvian, Lithuanian, Baltic

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Published : 2020-12-30

Nau, N., Spraunienė, B., & Žeimantienė, V. (2020). The Passive Family in Baltic. Baltic Linguistics, 11, 27–128.

Nicole Nau 
Birutė Spraunienė 
Vaiva Žeimantienė