Agency, Adversity and Animacy in the Chinese Passive Construction


  • Anthony C. Lister University of New Brunswick


Two forms of the passive in written Chinese, the marked and unmarked forms are examined. In the corpus, marked forms were found to be more frequent than unmarked forms, and forms without an agent were more frequent than with an agent. However, in marked forms, structures containing an agent were more frequent.There are two kinds of passive markers in Chinese, bèi and the variant markers. The data revealed a continuum based on agency, animacy and adversity, from the umarked forms to forms marked by the variant markers, with the forms marked by bei occupying a central position.



How to Cite

Lister, A. C. (1996). Agency, Adversity and Animacy in the Chinese Passive Construction. Papers from the Annual Meetings of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association (PAMAPLA) ACTES DES COLLOQUES ANNUELS DE L’ASSOCIATION DE LINGUISTIQUE DES PROVINCES ATLANTIQUES (ACAALPA)., 19, 163–171. Retrieved from

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