Passive construction in Kuna : form and function
MetadataShow full item record
Of interest to many researchers is the study of the processes and effects of passives in the world’s languages and the contributions that the analyses of this phenomenon have made to linguistic theory. The present work is my own contribution to the discussion of this construction, an overview of the passive form and function in Kuna, a Chibchan language of Panama, Central America. Because passives are relevant to most areas of grammar (e.g. syntax, semantics, discourse, etc.), its study is an opportunity to explore how different phases of grammar interact with each other. In this work, I explore how the linguistic form and the pragmatic-functional aspects of the language intertwine in Kuna. More specifically, I look at how two proposed functional characterizations of passives, topicalization (Givón 1979, Keenan 1985) and agent-defocusing (Shibatani 1985), can be adopted to describe their occurrence in the language depending on the discourse context in which they are present.