middle voice

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ivan
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middle voice

Post by ivan » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:38 pm

Middle voice in greek is traditionaly called middle-passive (mediopassive).
If so, then there must be medioactive (middle-active) too.
In this file is talked about latin and spanish deponent verbs and the voices are grouped like this: active - medioactive - deponent - mediopassive - passive. Mediopassive is same one like in greek. But, medioactive?
(It is also said about middle-active in modern greek in this book on google)

spiphany
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Re: middle voice

Post by spiphany » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:21 pm

I don't think I've ever seen mention of "medioactive" in discussions of classical Greek, and I'm afraid I'm having trouble envisioning what an "active-middle" would look like. (I skimmed the article on Latin that you linked to and I'm not sure I immediately understand how the author is using the terminology or what explanatory power the schema he proposes offers).

There are probably a couple of pragmatic reasons for the term "mediopassive" (and the lack of "medioactive"): In ancient Greek, the middle voice and passive voice are marked with the same set of endings (even if the form isn't always the same) -- thus, morphologically the distinction is between active and middle/passive, not active/middle and passive.

Semantically, too, I think the relevant distinction that the language makes is between active and not-active: active voice is mostly for transitive verbs which have the subject functioning as an agent. As soon as you start to depart from this, i.e. in the case of some intransitive verbs, or subjects that are patients, etc., the middle and passive voice start to come into play.
There's an article by C.W. Conrad which provides a nice explanation of Greek voice, I think: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/d ... cGrkVc.pdf
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)

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daivid
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Re: middle voice

Post by daivid » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:33 pm

ivan wrote:Middle voice in greek is traditionaly called middle-passive (mediopassive).
If so, then there must be medioactive (middle-active) too.)
In the present the middle and the passive take the same form. I guess it depends on how
you want to see them but to me it is clear that there are two distinct voices being expressed
in one way. This is shown by the way the passive and the middle are expressed using
different forms for the future and aorist.

That is to say there may be middle-passive forms but not a middle-passive voice.
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Re: middle voice

Post by annis » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:21 am

daivid wrote:I guess it depends on how
you want to see them but to me it is clear that there are two distinct voices being expressed
in one way. This is shown by the way the passive and the middle are expressed using
different forms for the future and aorist.
I strongly recommend you read the Conrad article linked to above. These so-called "passives" are frequently middle. It is a side-effect of the pedagogical use of "principal parts" that makes this distinction seem so clear-cut.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
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daivid
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Re: middle voice

Post by daivid » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:20 am

annis wrote: I strongly recommend you read the Conrad article linked to above. These so-called "passives" are frequently middle. It is a side-effect of the pedagogical use of "principal parts" that makes this distinction seem so clear-cut.
Thanks for pushing me to read the Conrad article. It has helped deepen my understanding of
voice.

I would however defend traditional text books. To initially have θην forms presented as simple
passives and then later to discover that this is not the whole story is far less confusing then the approach
he advocates. Had I been using a text book that relabelled middle and passive forms as MP1
and MP2 I would have been tearing my hair out and I suspect that would be the reaction of
most learners learning on their own.

But, given that the writers of text books that I have used have not followed his advice,
I am grateful for the help his article has given me.
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Re: middle voice

Post by annis » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:16 pm

daivid wrote: Had I been using a text book that relabelled middle and passive forms as MP1
and MP2 I would have been tearing my hair out and I suspect that would be the reaction of
most learners learning on their own.
Well, I'm a little sympathetic with this, yet we somehow cope with things like "first aorist" and "second aorist" without completely losing our minds. I wish we could come up with decent pedagogy that doesn't lie to people.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Re: middle voice

Post by ximo » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:55 pm

The difference and expression of active and passive voices is clear, I think. The passive is usually used with the agent, the performer of the action, and with a subject patient. The middle voice in the classical explanation expresses some special interest of the subject. But many times the middle voice is translated as the active. The deponents are verbs with only middle forms, translated generally as active. One simple form to distinguish the passive and the middle forms is the presence or absence of the agent. The context of the sentence can help too.
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Re: middle voice

Post by syril10 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:51 am

annis wrote:
daivid wrote:I guess it depends on how
you want to see them but to me it is clear that there are two distinct voices being expressed
in one way. This is shown by the way the passive and the middle are expressed using
different forms for the future and aorist.
I strongly recommend you read the Conrad article linked to above. These so-called "passives" are frequently middle. It is a side-effect of the pedagogical use of "principal parts" that makes this distinction seem so clear-cut.

Thanks for the article you provided. just cleared few things for me

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