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Re: mediopassive voice: huh?

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Thursday, December 11, 2003, 19:44
On Thursday, December 11, 2003, at 07:18 AM, Wesley Parish wrote:

> Quoting Robert Jung <RobertMJung@...>: > >> What is the mediopassive voice? What are its functions; examples too >> please. > > The mediopassive voice is a voice that covers both passive uses: > I was seen; I wasn't injured; I will not be overcasked! > > and middle uses: > I saw myself; I didn't injure myself; I will not overcask myself! > We saw ourselves; we didn't injure ourselves; we will not overcask > ourselves!
Yep - the mediopassive is not, strictly speaking, _a_ voice: it's a conflation of two voices: 1. passive - a Wesley gives above and, I guess, we're all familiar with. 2. middle - which can be a directly reflexive as Wesley gives; but the reflexive is often indirect ("I'll get me a horse" - as they say on old time Westerns) and sometimes implies the action is done for advantage, or disadvantage, of the subject in some vague way. Indeed, it has very much the same sort of semantic range as reflexive verb in modern Romance langs. (There was a thread about the middle voice earlier this year.) the term 'mediopassive' is used particularly in relation to the ancient Greek verbal system: - moods, tenses participles & infinitives in the future & aorist aspects used distinct forms for the middle and the passives voices; - moods, tenses participles & infinitives in the durative ('present stem') and perfective aspects used a single set of endings which had both middle & passive meanings, hence 'mediopassive'. Ray =============================================== (home) (work) ===============================================