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Re: Voices

From:Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>
Date:Friday, December 3, 2004, 16:15
The reflexive form can indeed be called the reflexive
voice, though I'd be more inclined to called it the
middle voice, since the action in the middle voice is
done for the benefit of the actor (if I interpret it
correctly), although the German 'sich' constructions
have been called middle voice by some.

For many of my conlangs, I have a split between the
'reflexive' and 'mutual' voices, where the reflexive
action is done for the benefit of a single actor ('he
gave himself a present'), and the mutual is done for
the benefit of more than one actor ('they gave each
other presents').

Another idea, quite-thoroughly discussed about a month
ago, is the applicative voice. Basically, it works
like this:

Active voice:
"The cat [ACT] slept on the mat [OBL]."

Where the cat is the actor of the sentence, and the
mat is in an oblique phrase (that is, a phrase that is
neither the actor or the patient, such as a dative or
prepositional phrase). To make it applicative, you'd
do something like this:

Applicative voice:
"The cat [ACT] (on)slept the mat [PAT]."

Where the cat is still the actor, but the mat is
raised to the status of the patient, and if you like,
you can indicate the exact role the former oblique
phrase took as a verbal adfix (which is why I put 'on'
in parentheses there).

I stole this idea from Pablo David Flores, since at
least one of his conlangs has the applicative, and I
think it's such a cool idea, since it fits very nicely
with my insanely pro-drop conlang (the verbal adfix is
almost _never_ added, so you get phrases like 'the cat
slept the mat', and it's up to the hearer to decipher
it properly, muhahahahahahaaa!).

English has some constructions that look suspiciously
applicative, as does German (though it can be argued
otherwise in both cases), but I can't think of any
natlangs offhand that have the applicative, though
I've heard that it's fairly common at any rate.

--- Yann Kiraly-h <yann_kiraly@...> idà-i:

> Hi! I was wondering if you knew any other voices > besides active, passive, middle and antipassive > voice. And, can I call the reflexive form of a verb > the reflexive voice?


Christian Thalmann <cinga@...>
Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>applicative (again) (was: Re: Voices)