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BANGKOK 24 April 2019 08:49
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snowleopard

Passive Voice Construction In Thai

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Very clear I think?

"the term agent was explained by meadish to ooleeber".

"agent" is the subject

"Meadish" is the Agent

"explained" is the Verb

But does that make "ooleeber" the 2nd subject or something else?

This is fascinating!!

Oh! and in the active voice, what does that make the door? Just a noun?

Thanks :o

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เรื่องนี้คุณเสือดาวได้เขียน: A bit awkward. This sentence would be far more natural: เรื่องนี้คุณเสือดาวได้เขียนไว้เมื่อหลายปีก่อน (Snowleopard was written by snowleapard several years ago.)

Exactly, I had meant to add an elipsis (. . .) at the end as it would have to include a time frame . . . :D

When you say snowleopard's construction was quite common nowadays, are you saying it's more natural than my non-โดย example? The X โดย X phrase seems to me to be a relatively recent phenom (which I guess is why you said "nowadays"?), perhaps even an import. I don't hear it that much except from newscasters on TV, or perhaps I just run in non-literary circles ... :o

Edited by sabaijai

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Ok - now we get to the stage where we need to separate 'parts of speech' from 'sentence constituents'.

It was a while ago since I studied linguistics, and there are definitely people here whose knowledge within this subject is greater than mine, but here is an attempt at a definition anyway:

'Parts of speech' is used to divide words into different categories more or less in isolation, whereas 'sentence constituents' are used to describe the FUNCTION of the words IN CONTEXT - i.e. within a sentence.

When we compared sentences above, and used the terms SUBJECT and AGENT, we were talking about the names of sentence constituents, whereas "noun" and "pronoun" and "adjective", etc. are parts of speech.

Meadish is not sure he can explain this difference properly.

In terms of parts of speech, we can categorize the words in the above sentence as follows:

'Meadish' is a NOUN (a proper noun in fact).

'is' is a VERB.

'not' is an ADVERB

'sure' is an ADJECTIVE.

'he' is a PRONOUN ('instead of nouns', noun replacement words')

'can' is a VERB (an AUXILIARY VERB)

'explain' is also a VERB

'this' is a PRONOUN

'difference' is a NOUN

'properly' is an ADVERB (like adjectives describe nouns, ADVERBS describe VERBS, other ADVERBS and ADJECTIVES)

Now, if we turn to 'sentence constituents', we use a different terminology. Please note that it is not clear-cut which terminology or system to use. *

I will come back with this analysis later, unless somebody else would care for doing it instead of me.

This may be a little confusing, but I am sure you can find a web page out there which explains the difference more thoroughly. I will be back later with more info, right now I have to get back to work... :o

* I have been taught to analyse sentences more or less according to the tradition of Noam Chomsky, the US linguist. His views of linguistics, as well as his political views, are currently hotly debated

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"I have been taught to analyse sentences more or less according to the tradition of Noam Chomsky, the US linguist. His views of linguistics, as well as his political views, are currently hotly debated"

Not to stray off track here but sincerely agree with your statement re. Chomsky! The man should have been deported to some Communist country a long time ago.

p.s. you guys are doing a terrific job here in this language thread. Thanks for all the great help! :o

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Noam's thoughts on linguistics, specifically the acquisition of syntax, fossilised a long time ago and have been superceded by several intervening theories in the meantime. He pretty much transferred his "Deep Structure" ideas about syntax -- a theory that he never was able to prove since it's an untestable idea and is hence not a true 'hypothesis' in the scientific meaning of the word -- wholesale into his political science, out of which he has made a lot more money than he ever did as a linguist. Most linguists don't take him seriously anymore, and neither do most political scientists. He's nonetheless very adept at selling his arguments to laypeople.

Beyond Chomsky

Edited by sabaijai

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Noam's thoughts on linguistics, specifically the acquisition of syntax, fossilised a long time ago and have been superceded by several intervening theories in the meantime. He pretty much transferred his "Deep Structure" ideas about syntax -- a theory that he never was able to prove since it's an untestable idea and is hence not a true 'hypothesis' in the scientific meaning of the word -- wholesale into his political science, out of which he has made a lot more money than he ever did as a linguist. Most linguists don't take him seriously anymore, and neither do most political scientists. He's nonetheless very adept at selling his arguments to laypeople.

Beyond Chomsky

sabaijai,

Please qualify that as some lay people! :o

p.s. my last word on this creep.

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And thanks Meadish,

I'm still trying to get my head around your very kind and patient explanation. Not to mention scouring the web for info.

I think I now understand the difference but find it hard to obtain a glossary of sentence constituents. Still looking.

Good onya matey.

ooleeber

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But may I add that auxiallary verbs can sometimes be called "model verbs" or "helping verbs," and that these verbs are verbs that tell time.

No!

'Helping verb' does mean the same as 'auxiliary verb'.

All 'modal verbs' are 'auxiliary verbs', but not all 'auxiliary verbs' are 'modal verbs'. It so happens that almost all English modal verbs indicate present tense or past tense ('must' is an exception - it does not distinguish them), though the past tense of a modal verb often has nothing to do with past time. For example, the difference between 'But may I add...' and 'But might I add' is largely one of diffidence.

In the quoted sentence:

'may', 'can' are modal verbs.

'be' is an auxiliary verb, is not a modal verb, and does not indicate time but voice!

Edited by Richard W

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Ok, here goes. About 'agent':

In an active voice sentence, the one who actually does something is known as the subject.

Simon closed the door. Simon closes the door. Simon did close the door. Simon will close the door. Simon is about to close the door. Simon would have closed the door.

'Simon' is the subject.

In a passive voice sentence, the person who performs the action described, is the agent, but the SUBJECT of the sentence is something else. Example:

The door was closed by Simon.

'The door' is the subject. 'Was closed' is the verb. 'Simon' is the agent.

I hope that clarifies something, at least!

Cheers,

Meadish

Ok, here goes. About 'agent':

In an active voice sentence, the one who actually does something is known as the subject.

Hi Meadish et al. -_-

In pedagogical layman terms,you've given Oliver some lucid explanations with fine examples re the "AGENT" here,but let me provide some additional,newly declassified information that will illuminate the dark world of espionage even more-and which can also be very helpful in our quest to uncover and expose the secret agent's real identity...

Who's the agent?

First Agent=Active Voice Agent (i.e.subject):

In active voice,the subject,himself, is the agent who is doing the action.

Example 1=active voice where the subject is the agent:

a.)"It's now been confirmed by our agency that it was indeed our AGENT 007 who shot the bullet that penetrated the victim's skull with such pinpoint accuracy." :o

Second Agent=Passive Voice Agent:

In passive voice,the subject is NOT the agent but rather the subject,himself, is now at the receiving end of the action which is performed by the real agent.

Example 2=passive voice where the subject is not the agent:

b.)"The mole was assassinated by our secret AGENT 007 in Moscow a few moments ago." :D

In both examples above,the "double" agent is THE agent;but in many other passive voice constructions,the agent's role is often omitted and he's working undercover deep inside the sentence

In the instance where the agent is omitted,both his role and whereabouts are no secret to us here at the agency,and others,who have been initiated into the use of grammar and who work with decoding intelligence on a daily basis.

Third Agent=Passive Voice Agent Working Undercover:

WARNING:..CLASSIFIED!..."For Your Eyes Only"...once read,the following message re the agent's real identity must be deleted and everyone else in the know,outside of our language board,must be terminated! :wub:

Example 3=when the prepositional phrase which describes the agent is omitted but his role is implicitly understood by the reader:

c.)/By our agency/..."Our undercover agent has been codenamed... "007",and that's the name we have clandestinely leaked to the Russian moles of the KGB,but her real name is of course Blonde..."Jane Blonde"! :D

Cheers.

The Spymaster,codenamed Snowleopard. :D

Meadish is not sure he can explain this difference properly.

In terms of parts of speech, we can categorize the words in the above sentence as follows:

'Meadish' is a NOUN (a proper noun in fact).

'is' is a VERB.

'not' is an ADVERB

'sure' is an ADJECTIVE.

'he' is a PRONOUN ('instead of nouns', noun replacement words')

'can' is a VERB (an AUXILIARY VERB)

'explain' is also a VERB

'this' is a PRONOUN

'difference' is a NOUN

'properly' is an ADVERB (like adjectives describe nouns, ADVERBS describe VERBS, other ADVERBS and ADJECTIVES)

Meadish is not sure he can explain this difference properly.
'this' is a PRONOUN

The second thing I wanna point out is about your classification of the word "this"!

"This" can be either a demonstrative pronoun or a demonstrative adjective,depending on its function in the phrase.

In your example,"this" is actually used as a demonstrative adjective because it modifies the noun "difference"! :D

Snowleopard.

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Thanks snowleopard but Jeez ! I'm going to have to read that again tomorrow before I've had my first 2 beers of the day.

Someones birthday today - you know how it is.

Sincere thanks - I'm really enjoying this journey in language but for now I'm off to find Miss Moneypenny. :o

Cheers

O

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Hi there Username,Meadish,Sabaijai,Richard et al. :D

I've come up with some more sentences in Thai which I think are passive voice constructions in their own right without using the ถูก (toohk) or the โดน (dohn) as auxiliaries. :D

Here they are... :o

1.หลังคาของบ้านเราปกคลุมด้วยหิมะ "lang-kaa korng baan raow pok-kluhn doo-ay he-ma"=The roof of our house is covered with snow.

2.เธอกำลังทำอะไรอยู่....อาหารยังไม่ได้กินเลยและน้ำยังไม่ได้อาบด้วย "teur gum-lahng tahm ah-rai yoo?...ah-haan yahng mai dai gin leuy lae nahm yahng mai dai ahp doo-ay"=What are you doing now?...Your food hasn't been eaten yet and no shower has been taken either.

3.ถนนมันท่วมอยู่ "tah-nohn man too-am yoo"=The streets are flooded.

Do you think the above sentences qualify in the passive voice category?

Your feedback on that would be appreciated. :D

Cheers.

Snowleopard.

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The basic purpose of the passive is to de-emphasis the agent, even exclude him altogether. These sentences, where the agent is omitted, and the patient becomes the subject, are thus semantically passive. However, there is nothing in the form of these sentences that marks them as passive - you have to know that the verb is transitive to realise that there is something odd about the sentences. They are parallel to sentences with หัก /hak/ 'break', which is always intransitive.

They may be compared to transitive and intransitive English verbs such as 'break', 'burn', 'cook' and 'lengthen', which may be:

  • transitive and active (both agent and, normally, patient expressed),
  • transitive and passive (patient and optionally agent expressed) or
  • intransitive (and active) (normally patient only expressed)

English has a lot of such verbs, but there are also a few in Latin. (French and German tend to use the reflexive where English would use the intransitive form.)

The difference in Thai is that it seems that every transitive verb may be used intransitively.

I would say that these sentences are not passive, but note that the verb is being used intransitively.

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The basic purpose of the passive is to de-emphasis the agent, even exclude him altogether.  These sentences, where the agent is omitted, and the patient becomes the subject, are thus semantically passive.  However, there is nothing in the form of these sentences that marks them as passive - you have to know that the verb is transitive to realise that there is something odd about the sentences.  They are parallel to sentences with หัก /hak/ 'break', which is always intransitive. 

They may be compared to transitive and intransitive English verbs such as 'break', 'burn', 'cook' and 'lengthen', which may be:

  • transitive and active (both agent and, normally, patient expressed),
  • transitive and passive (patient and optionally agent expressed) or
  • intransitive (and active) (normally patient only expressed)

English has a lot of such verbs, but there are also a few in Latin.  (French and German tend to use the reflexive where English would use the intransitive form.)

The difference in Thai is that it seems that every transitive verb may be used intransitively.

I would say that these sentences are not passive, but note that the verb is being used intransitively.

However, there is nothing in the form of these sentences that marks them as passive - you have to know that the verb is transitive to realise that there is something odd about the sentences. They are parallel to sentences with หัก /hak/ 'break', which is always intransitive.
หัก /hak/ 'break', which is always intransitive

Really Richard! :D

How about this Thai sentence which uses the verb หัก "hahk"? :o

เขาแขนหักเนื่องจากอุบัติเหตุทางรถจักรยานสองล้อ "kaow kaen hahk neung-jaahk oba-dtee-heaht taang rot-jahk-a-yaahn sorng looh""=His arm was broken in a bicycle accident.

Did the arm "actively" break itself in the accident or did he break his arm on purpose? :D

Self-destructive like Usama's kamikaze pilots? :D

Cheers. :D

Snowleopard.

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