[B-Greek] Definition of Voice
Carl W. Conrad
cwconrad at ioa.com
Sat Nov 12 10:11:14 EST 2005
On Nov 12, 2005, at 9:49 AM, Eddie Mishoe wrote:
> Ran across this definition of Voice at OpenText.org.
> Any comments?
> Causality is a semantic category, associated with the
> predicate of a clause, which expresses the
> relationship between the agent of an action and the
> action itself. It is grammaticalized through an
> author's selection of voice. Direct causality is
> grammaticalized through the active voice form,
> External causality through the passive voice and
> Internal/Ergative causality through the middle voice
> form. At the clause level ambiguity between middle and
> passive forms (in the present and perfect forms),
> marked at the word group level, must be resolved and
> the predicate assigned either Internal/Ergative or
> Passive causality.
Interesting! Was this supposed to concern ancient Greek in
particular. If so, I'm not really so sure that the ambiguity between
middle and passive forms DOES always get resolved; I know that
parsers WANT to decide each case one way or the other, but we've had
instances right here on the list -- on more than one occasion --
where different persons settled the matter in different ways.
Certainly I've argued that one often cannot fully resolve ambiguities
for MAI/SAI/TAI,MHN/SO/TO forms or -QH- forms unless there's a
prepositional agent construction or an instrumental dative explicitly
indicating external causality. Certainly the forms do not by
themselves lend themselves to easy resolution of the ambiguity. So in
English a clause like "I get drunk frequently" is probably middle --
but "I get baptized" -- without any further qualificaiton -- could be
either middle or passive.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
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