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Re: Test for middle voice?

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Monday, November 21, 2005, 0:03
Ray Brown wrote:
> The termination -(e)s and the form 'is' are markers of the 3rd > person singular of grammatically active forms of a verb. My dictionary > list 'fill' as a transitive verb with various different (tho related) > meanings, and as an intransitive verb with the meanings 'to become > full', 'to become satiated'. They have different valencies, as well as > different diatheses.
It has struck me, in the course of this thread, that Kash _inchoative_ forms often fulfill the requirements of middle voice-- Stative: londo 'full'-- inch. çulondo 'fill (intr.), getting/becoming full -- caus. rundondo (trans.) to fill s.t. Thus we can have: --yala yalondo 'the glass is full' --yala yaçulondo 'the glass fills ~is getting full' (and just as in Engl., a human subj. could not occur here) --Mina yarundondo yala 'Mina fills the glass' The only thing that becomes difficult is: "Water filled the glass", which I suspect would have to use the inchoative, with a prepositional phrase yambit sawu 'by means of water' or liri sawu 'with respect to water'; generally inanimates can't be subj. of causative vbs. So, paraphrase with "becoming/getting/turning...." might be one test of middle voice. Another, as has been pointed out, is when the action of the verb is reflexive (like intrans. 'bathe' or many Romance refl. forms) or in some way benefits the subject. But as Ray points out (if I read him correctly) this is often (always?) semantically (perhaps logically?) determined--thus it just so happens that intr. "fill" cannot normally co-occur with a human subj. For those who are interested and have the patience, go to my Kash dictionary: and do a search for _çu_ which will turn up most of the inchoative forms (plus irrelevant sequences). Not all are "middle", I think, nor do all adjs/vbs. have the form, but that may be due to my oversight/laziness, if not to semantics :-))


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>