Passives

Brian MacWhinney macw at cmu.edu
Thu Aug 2 21:57:35 UTC 2012


Dear UMD,
    I think the best you can do here is to compose search strings that include all the passives along with lots of false alarms and then you have to go through the set to discard the false alarms by hand.  The problem is that the best way to do this is from the %mor line using a COMBO string, but it will match lots of structures such as "John was surprised to find out" because of the presence of the auxiliary and the lack of a distinction between the perfect and the past for the regular verbs (both -ed).  Of course, if there is a by-phrase that can help, but you can't count on that.

--Brian MacWhinney

On Aug 2, 2012, at 4:07 PM, "UMD Lang & Cog Lab" <umdlangcog at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> 
> We are currently conducting a study that looks into how children interpret passive sentences.  We would like to investigate the passives in parent input to their children.  We found transcripts of interest to us from CHILDES; however, despite reading the manual and many tries at writing commands we have not found a way to reliably search the passive because of their variable structure.  Does anyone know the best way to go about finding passive constructions using CLAN? 
> 
> Thank you,
> UMD Language and Cognition Lab
> 
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