Carl on Voice

yochanan bitan-buth ButhFam at
Sun Aug 6 06:52:56 EDT 2000

I saw a reference to 27 May 1997 and checked it out. 
I would like to support Carl on those points, at least at the level of how
the language functions within itself:

Greek middles and passives are probably best thought of generically and
idiomatically as reflexives (unless contextually marked as passive).

[Pedagogically, for parallels, students are best directed to 'reflexive'
practices in French, Spanish et al.
POREUOMAI at least 'rings' with the non-active verbs, despite not having an
active, though in meaning a person projects directly to a picture of
someone walking away. The word 'reflexive' in English is so abstract so as
probably not to disrupt a student's learning and can fit 'deponents'. A
fairly non-positive view of grammar terms, huh? (>'hurts the least') 
Deponents are then idiomatic reflexives that don't happen to have actives. 
(that's how I taught when I started using TPR Greek and I think I'll drop
my later conformist practice of using 'deponent' as a category but just say
'no active form' with such verbs in vocab lists. That's what we do with
such nif`al verbs in Hebrew.)
(ERCETAI, HLQEN is simply an idiomatic pairing of different stems that
happens to join different voices as well.)]

-QH- passives in aorist/future are secondary to the language. 
I would add that such an 'addition' to aorist/future reinforces the
'central/basic' basic nature of 'aorist' stems within the Greek system. 

Accepting all the above, though, what would Carl recommend telling students
in English about verbs that have all three voices, an aorist 'active',
'middle' and 'passive' form? 
E.g. HREN, HRATO, HRQH  "lifted'
(sort of a betenoire for chinese l/r, though Koine keeps both vowel sound
and consonant distinct in HREN/EILEN, when EI=I)

Perhaps: active, reflexive, reflexive/passive? (and -QH-, again, just like
Hebrew nif`AL)
and the rest of the (binary) language:   active, reflexive?

Randall Buth

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