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Re: Test for middle voice?

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Sunday, November 20, 2005, 2:09
On 11/19/05, Henrik Theiling <theiling@...> wrote:
> > Hi! > > R A Brown <ray@...> writes: > >... In the strict sense, English does not have a middle _voice_, > >i.e. a grammatically category distinguished morphologically from > >active and passive. ... > > I'd say that modern English does have some kind of systematic middle. > More than than, say, German. You have a lot of transitive verbs that > work well intransitively for the object* of the transitive verb used > as the *subject* of the transitive one. This is quite close to a > distinct syntactic category, and it is often kind of a middle voice:
Yes, but I believe Ray's point was that it is not syntactically distinguished. The "middle voice" verbs you cite are indistinguishable in form from their active counterparts. In "The cup fills [with water]", the verb "fills" is syntactically and morphologically in the active voice, regardless of how you choose to distinguish its semantic role. -- Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>


R A Brown <ray@...>