A previous study of passive constructions has suggested that these are much more frequent in Sesotho than in English spontaneous speech (Demuth, 1989). This has raised a number of questions regarding the possible effects of the input on the apparently earlier acquisition of passives in Sesotho. This paper explores the distribution of passives in Sesotho child-directed speech. It aims to provide a more thorough investigation of the grammatical, lexical and discourse contexts in which the passive is used. The findings confirm that passives occur in approximately 4% of utterances directed at 2-3-year olds. Many of these are full (rather than truncated) passives, most occurring with actional verbs that show active/passive alternations. Many passives are also questions/clarifications about past events. The implications for language acquisition are discussed.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|