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Re: Mediopassive/labile verbs; was: very confused - syntax question

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 7, 1999, 17:03
Raymond A. Brown wrote:

> > > >On the other hand, Jennifer's language has a morpheme that gives a > >verb form a sense that is either reflexive or passive according to the > >nature of the subject. This is in fact exactly what the voice called > >mediopassive in PIE did, and what mediopassive voices do in many other > >languages, so I don't really know why this sense of the word is being > >dismissed as irrelevant. > > Nor I indeed. And when I briefly outlined the _morphological_ uses of > 'middle', 'passive' & 'mediopassive' in ancient Greek, I was attempting to > be helpful, not indulge in some irrelevant passion. That I didn't quote > Sanskrit & Nesite (Hittite) examples is simply because I'm less familiar > with them.
It wasn't irrelevant; my word was unintentionally harsh. In retrospect, this was useful information and I saved your post. No passions and no knowledge bytes are irrelevant. I was after someone who could tell me that "mediopassive" was an acceptable term to use for the subject-patient construction. I don't entirely trust Trask, or I don't entirely understand his cross references. "See *middle voice*" and the two definitions don't compare. Even his "unergative" doesn't corroborate Lars' assurances that this term can be unambiguously applied to the subject-patient construction. But the book was recommended to me, and I checked other books on linguistic terms and found this one the most comprehensive.
> Lars has IMHO put the arguments forward clearly, concisely and cogently.
Indeed he has. Sally