English Get-Passives: Reassessing the Frequencies across Genres

Supakorn Phoocharoensil


This study investigates the get-passive in American English, with emphasis on its distribution in different text types and its semantic features characterized by co-occurring verbs. The data was drawn from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), i.e. the latest version with eight different genres. The findings indicate that the get-passive is a linguistic feature of informal English due to its highest frequency in spoken genres, e.g. TV and movie subtitles, and blogs. Furthermore, common verbs constituting the get-passive were explored and their meanings in context were analyzed. In agreement with previous studies, the semantic analysis of get-passives revealed a higher proportion of verbs expressing adversity, followed by those with positive and neutral meanings, respectively. The existence of non-adversative get-passive predicts a decline in the adversative type.


get-passive; text type; common verb; COCA; adversative and non-adversative meaning

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17576/gema-2020-2003-08


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