How to Identify a Permissive/Causative Middle Voice Verb?

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
Eeli Kaikkonen
Posts: 409
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 7:49 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: How to Identify a Permissive/Causative Middle Voice Verb?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » February 14th, 2018, 5:57 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
February 13th, 2018, 5:53 am
But I would submit that this exercise in semantics is beside point of the middle, which is in fact to deprofile the agent.
Is it really "besides the point"? But you're right about its function in discourse. Another misused label, infamous in this forum, is "divine passive". Basically it's nothing but a passive (a mediopassive form where in the context "agent" and "patient" are clearly different) where the agent is known to be, when the whole context is interpreted, God. It's a theological, interpretive category, not grammatical. It's like calling the passive voices "beastly passive" and "human passive" in this kind of discourse:

"The beast caught the man. The man was instantly torn apart. The beast was later shot to death."

The second sentence is about the man and what happened to him; the third sentence is about the beast. Therefore passive is used.
0 x



Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2722
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: How to Identify a Permissive/Causative Middle Voice Verb?

Post by Stephen Carlson » February 14th, 2018, 6:30 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 5:57 am
Stephen Carlson wrote:
February 13th, 2018, 5:53 am
But I would submit that this exercise in semantics is beside point of the middle, which is in fact to deprofile the agent.
Is it really "besides the point"?
Correct. And your analogy with human and beastly passives is gold, definitely worth stealing. I'm curious why certain possible semantic features are privileged over others in our history of research.
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1283
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: How to Identify a Permissive/Causative Middle Voice Verb?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » February 14th, 2018, 11:02 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 6:30 am
Correct. And your analogy with human and beastly passives is gold, definitely worth stealing. I'm curious why certain possible semantic features are privileged over others in our history of research.
Why was Christology a big deal in the 4th and 5th centuries CE, but not soteriology? Why did soteriology become a huge issue in the 16th century? I would argue a similar dynamic in the history of research in various fields. At the risk of oversimplification, historical context based on the accumulation of prior knowledge/research conditions the researchers and presents the range of options. Occasionally, someone breaks out of this mold and we get penicillin (ooh, that joke is so bad even I hate it). :lol:
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

R. Perkins
Posts: 74
Joined: January 18th, 2013, 9:55 pm

Re: How to Identify a Permissive/Causative Middle Voice Verb?

Post by R. Perkins » February 20th, 2018, 4:22 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
February 14th, 2018, 5:57 am
Stephen Carlson wrote:
February 13th, 2018, 5:53 am
But I would submit that this exercise in semantics is beside point of the middle, which is in fact to deprofile the agent.
Is it really "besides the point"? But you're right about its function in discourse. Another misused label, infamous in this forum, is "divine passive". Basically it's nothing but a passive (a mediopassive form where in the context "agent" and "patient" are clearly different) where the agent is known to be, when the whole context is interpreted, God. It's a theological, interpretive category, not grammatical. It's like calling the passive voices "beastly passive" and "human passive" in this kind of discourse:

"The beast caught the man. The man was instantly torn apart. The beast was later shot to death."

The second sentence is about the man and what happened to him; the third sentence is about the beast. Therefore passive is used.
Very good. Thank you.

Regarding the "divine passive," I once asked my Greek proff. about the passive/middle ἐκτίσθη & ἔκτισται in Colossians 1.16 - which states that all things "were created" in, through & for the Son of God.

I have often heard it said that this verse teaches that the Son of God was the "active Creator." I was wondering why this assertion was/is made since the verbs rendered "were created" and "have been created" appear in the passive & middle voice - not the active voice.

His response was that this was considered a "divine passive." But when I did a little research into the "divine passive" theory I quickly found out that this is actually a mere theological assertion and not an actual grammatical category (cf., e.g., Mounce et al.).

Perhaps I reveal my ignorance...but I simply do not buy into it. Of course, this text (Col. 1.16) & the divine passive concept would probably be a whole different thread.
0 x

Post Reply