Can someone share with me an article that studies the decline of by-phrases in the passive? Preferably a corpus-based study, but this is not that relevant

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    What’s your basics for the assumption that there is such a decline to begin with? May 13 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


This thesis studies the history of passives and as part of the study looks at the instance of by-phrases, in the journal American journal of botany, grouping articles into three historical clusters – 1910's, 1960's and 2000's. The study also considers where in an article the passive appears. The frequency of by-phrases in passives decreases substantially, with 1960's frequency being about 1/3 that of 1910's; there is a small uptick in by-phrases between the 1960's and 2000's.

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