In a production subtest of Power’s and Quigley’s (1973) study, the only passive marker that participants used consistently and correctly was the preposition by. Otherwise, participants made frequent errors in the verb phrase, writing sentences such as the following:
The boy pushed by the girl.
The boy push by the girl.
The boy was pushing by the girl.
The boy push the girl.
Even at 17 and 18 years of age, only 40% of the participants were able to produce correct passive voice sentences.
Summary Production Studies
1. The most difficult to least difficult types of passive voice constructions for young deaf students to comprehend were as follows:
agentless (most difficult)
nonreversible (least difficult)
2. The more difficult to less difficult type of environment for young deaf students to comprehend were as follows:
in isolated sentences (more difficult)
in connected prose (less difficult)
3. In their production of passive voice sentences, deaf students tended to include by-phrases but made errors while writing forms of the verb to be and the past participles.