I'm trying to read up on "middle voice", and how you interpret "voice" plays a large role in how you understand articles that discuss this topic. I wanted clarification for what "voice" means.
Option 1:Voice refers to the way a verb sounds to the ears.
It only deals with how it sounds superficially, and thus the only thing voice touches is form and morphology. This would make saying, "middle voice form", redundant since voice = form. This would also preclude there from being distinct middle and passive voices in the present, but only a single "middle-passive" voice.
Option 2:Voice refers to the way a verb sounds to the mind.
Having a "middle voice" means that the verb is interpreted as having a "middle" meaning (Wallace uses the term "force" for "meaning"). This would make "middle voice with active meaning" a contradiction, since voice = meaning.
I started off thinking that voice refers to the meaning, thus having a "middle voice" meant the verb had a "middle" meaning. However, this caused problems, because of certain contradictions that would appear, such as "middle voice with active meaning", or "middle voice with passive meaning".
So then I switched to thinking that voice refers to only the conjugation forms. This allowed me to understand "middle voice with active meaning" as active verbs that happen to use middle conjugation forms. Likewise, "middle voice with passive meaning" meant passive verbs that happen to use middle conjugation forms. However, this gave me an unsettling feeling, since now I'm forced to think that "middle voice" (middle form) isn't really "middle" in any strict sense, it just happens that verbs that use that form often have middle meanings (although other verbs with the "middle voice" have active meanings, and still others, passive meanings).
In Michael Palmer's grammar (http://greek-language.com/grammar/21.html
), he claims "the forms traditionally called aorist middle in fact represent both middle and passive meanings of Greek verbs and that those traditionally called aorist passive are also used for both middle and passive meanings." If this is true, then that means that "aorist middle" and "aorist passive" are misnomers, and they should actually be called "aorist middle-passive A" and "aorist middle-passive B". And I would assume that the future tense would follow the aorist tense in abolishing any formal distinction between middle and passive, and just have forms A and B which can be used for both middle and passive meanings. Am I understanding this properly?
Finally, if for all tenses there is no formal distinction to indicate middle or passive meanings (since all forms are middle-passive, and there are no strictly-middle-only or strictly-passive-only forms), is there truly a distinction in the middle and passive force (= meaning)? Couldn't we just say that "middle force" and "passive force" are contextual/lexical variants within a larger "midpassive (=middle + passive) force"? That way, we are left with just two forces: active and midpassive, and we can line the forces up cleanly to the forms. The "active form" will always have an active force, and the "midpassive form" will always have a midpassive force.