Datapoint Diu Indo-Portuguese/Passive constructions

At present, the issue of whether Diu Indo-Portuguese contains a formal passivization strategy is not sufficiently worked out. On the one hand, it is clear that, given the language's inclination for elision, the most productive means to demote a particular argument which is deemed non-essential to the speech act is simply not to produce it. [If the agent subject of a transitive verb is ellided, the object may either occur post-verbally (the prototypical object position) or pre-verbally, which does not impair proper parsing of the sentence in the sense that context will normally clarify the role of the expressed constituent.]

Attempts to elicit passive constructions, particularly those with an overt agent, met with hesitation and inconsistent output: most speakers produced a regular active sentence, while others produced constructions approaching the Standard Portuguese passive (i.e. auxiliary ser 'to be' + past participle, agent expressed in a prepositional phrase with por 'by'), consisting of a participle form preceded by a form of either the copula te or the verb vay 'to go', with the agent expressed in a prepositional phrase with prepositions pə or də. If anything, this exercise highlights the fact that speakers of Diu Indo-Portuguese do not make regular use of a passivization strategy allowing the agent to be expressed, and when pressed look towards Standard Portuguese for a model.

The spoken corpus does contain a number of instances of participles preceded by either a form of the copula/auxiliary te or the verb fika 'to become', which have been proposed as likely candidates for passive constructions. However, none of these has an exclusively passive use, and it remains to be ascertained whether or not they construct passive meaning at all. Therefore, even though I suspect none of these constructions should be interpreted as a passive construction, I admit further research may prove otherwise.


Absence of passive construction