Towards a semantic definition of Greek Middle

Mark Wilson emory2oo2 at
Tue Oct 30 08:51:19 EST 2001


You asked:

Is anything known about when the passive
>developed in Greek? Or are you saying that the meaning of passive has 
>been there - it is a very basic linguistic notion - but that in earlier
>times there was no morphological distinction ever between the concepts of
>middle and passive? In that case, the Greek speakers would have to infer 
>meaning differences between middle and passive from context.

I wonder if someone could address this:

Would you say that the sentences in the GNT have a different
syntactical structure with sentences using the Aorists or
Futures, COMPARED TO the other tenses (that can not morphologically
distinguish M from P)?

Since, for example, the writer does not have a morpho-indicator
for the Passive ONLY in the Present (as in the Aorist*), the writer
must structure his/her sentences differently, since there are
no "morpho short-cuts" to indicate passive VOICE ONLY.
He/she must indicate the passive voice with structure, context,
or anything other than morphological selection IN THE PRESENT,
but not so in the AORIST. It would seem that one's structure
might be somewhat more "sloppy" in the Aorist, since ambiguity is easily 

*for the sake of argument


Mark Wilson

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