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Re: Voices

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Saturday, December 4, 2004, 6:38
From:    Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>
> 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
Except that some languages have explicitly distinct reflexive and middle morphology, e.g. Meskwaki. Voices in general alter the valency of the verb (increasing or decreasing), while reflexives and middles are quite diverse in their transitivity. Sometimes, as with Russian or Spanish, they are formally transitive, and sometimes, as with Meskwaki, formally intransitive.
> English has some constructions that look suspiciously > applicative, as does German (though it can be argued > otherwise in both cases),
Could you give examples? English AFAIK doesn't have anything like the applicatives of Bantu or Algonquian languages.
> 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.
Hundreds of Bantu languages have applicatives. In fact, it's one of the things they're famous for (in addition to their tonal phonology). ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637


Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>