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
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.