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Re: preferred voices?

From:The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>
Date:Monday, September 25, 2000, 12:51
> From: Mangiat > > > > The only explanation I've ever > > >gotten is that it's not as powerful as active but I don't really buy > > >that. > > > > That doesn't really make much sense to me. What is "powerful" > supposed to > > mean? > > I find the passive voice powerful as the active. Ergative langs > use passive > much more than active (okay, okay, that's not exactly the same thing!).
Actually, I don' think that is the case. Many (most?) ergative languages don't even have a passive. You may be referring to the antipassive, which for ergative languages serves an analogous function as the passive does for accusative languages. However, although the antipassive may be used more in ergative languages than the passive is in accusative ones, I am not at all certain that it is used more than the active and rather suspect that this is not the case. I'll check my sources. David