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Medio-passive (was: A Survey)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 1, 2003, 18:20
On Wednesday, October 1, 2003, at 12:31 , Costentin Cornomorus wrote:

> --- Rob Haden <magwich78@...> wrote: > >>> Active - Robert cooks (the soup). >>> Middle - The soup cooks. >>> Passive - The soup is being cooked (by >>> Robert). >> >> It seems to me that the Middle and Passive >> examples are more closely >> related to each other than either are to the >> Active. > > That's often the way of it. In IE languages, the > passive developed from the middle, for example.
Yep - the evidence from ancient Greek & Sanskrit point to PIE having an active and a medio-passive voice. There is no evidence of distinct passive.
>> Is it possible/a good >> idea to have simply an active vs. medio-passive >> distinction?
Yep - see above. Ancient Greek never fully developed a separate passive. The various tenses (of the indicative, subjunctive & optative moods) of the active and middle voices were built upon four different 'stems', traditionally know as 'present stem' (durative or progressive would be better), perfect stem, aorist stem and (a Geek innovation, not directly derived from PIE) a future stem. The present and perfect stem tenses never developed separate passive and the middle forms retained medio-passive meanings. The future middle & aorist middle did lose their passive meanings as separate passive forms were developed. The language developed yet another verb 'stem': the aorist passive. The aorist passive tenses were formed by adding _active_ personal endings to it, and the future passive tenses were formed on the aorist passive stem with the aid of middle voice personal endings!! Modern Greek has greatly simplified this: the perfect stem & future stem forms have gone. Both meanings are now expressed using auxiliaries. There is only an active and passive. The present & imperfect passive being derived from the ancient middle forms, and the aorist passive from the ancient aorist passive. Passive forms in all IE languages are secondary developments. Ray =============================================== (home) (work) ===============================================


Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>