Dutch impersonal passives are often considered to be only compatible with atelic volitional verbs, such as werken ‘work’, lachen ‘laugh’, and zwemmen ‘swim’. Two recent corpus studies, however, argue that a wider range of verbs is compatible with the construction, presenting examples of attested impersonal passives with telic and non-volitional verbs. This paper lends further support to this view, by providing an exploratory study of the frequencies of different intransitive verbs appearing in the construction, as well as a discussion of the telicity of attested impersonal passives with vallen ‘fall’ and sterven ‘die’. The paper concludes that also with these telic non-volitional verbs, the impersonal passive merely conveys the occurrence of the type of act described by the verb, without specifying whether this occurrence is constituted by a single or multiple events, or whether it involves one or more participants.
- attested examples
- impersonal passive