[B-Greek] A new stab at voice

Kimmo Huovila kimmo.huovila at helsinki.fi
Thu Oct 18 11:34:56 EDT 2007


I'll illustrate from English.
(1) Bill (agent) opened the door (patient) with a key (instrument).
(2) The door (author in this sentence according to Frawley if I understand him 
right) opened with a key (instrument).
(3) A key (instrument) opened the door (patient).
(4) The door  (author (or patient?)) opened.
But NOT
(5) *The door (author or patient subject) opened with a key (instrument) by 
Bill (agent).

Hope this helps.

Kimmo

On Thursday 18 October 2007, Elizabeth Kline wrote:
> 
> On Oct 17, 2007, at 12:24 PM, Kimmo Huovila wrote:
> 
> > The hierarchy is agent>author>instrument>patient. The rule is that  
> > the subject
> > of an active verb is not lower in the hierarchy than other roles in  
> > the verb
> > frame.
> >
> >> b. What is the rationale for this hierarchy?
> >
> > I used William Frawley's Linguistc Semantics (1992), pp. 240-242.  
> > He refers to
> > Charles Fillmore's The case for case (1968) and adds 'author' to  
> > Fillmore's
> > subject hierarchy. I have understood subject hierarchy to be fairly  
> > universal
> > in languages that have a clear subject category. I cannot think of  
> > Greek
> > counter-examples. Subject hierarchy is discussed in many linguistic  
> > sources,
> > I just happened to use Frawley.
> 
> 
> Kimmo,
> 
> I suspect that the implications of "The rule is ..."  are less than  
> perfectly clear to some list members. I just looked at B.J.Blake's  
> (Case, Cambridge 1994 page 91ff) discussion of C.Fillmore and S.Dik's  
> use of hierarchy and I still don't understand what point you are  
> attempting to make or what a Greek counter-example would look like.
> 
> 
> Elizabeth Kline
> 
> 
> 
> 
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