Stephen Carlson wrote:As for what the term voice refers to, I think the best practice is to use it for the inflectional / morphological forms and use the term diathesis for the more abstract or conceptual notion of how a verb's synactic subject and object relate to the verb's arguments
RandallButh wrote:So Greek diathesis has two formal categories in some tenses and three formal categories in other tenses. But I don't recommend calling the morpho-syntactical categories "voices". That word is already defined in English, and it is always more difficult to erase a common, errant meaning, than to create a neologism built on a zero-meaning word. It may be simplest, and better, to say that some tenses have two categories of diathesis (whose FORMS are called ἐνεργητική and μέση ) and some tenses have three categories of diathesis (whose FORMS are called ἐνεργητική, μέση, παθητική). When a student inevitably asks, "is the παθητική like 'passive voice' in English?", the teacher can say "No, the Greek uses this category for many things that are not passive in English, like πορευθῆναι 'going away'."
At the stage of explaining, not naming, the categories, then [κοινή] and [ἑαυτική] become useful because they unite the μέση and παθητική categories, something that the Greeks did in some tenses, and then add the special use of παθητική with transitive verbs as 'passive'.
By the way, shall we call these three κατηγορίαι τῆς μορφῆς, or something like three σχήματα? I have tended to use σχήματα for different classes of forms, like verbs ἀγαπᾶν ποιεῖν πληροῦν.
Let me try this out and check my understanding.
There are 2 categories of endings in the present and three in the aorist and future:
- ἐνεργητική κατηγορία τῆς μορφῆς -- αἰτῆσαι, αἰτῶ, αἰτήσω, ᾔτησα”
μέση κατηγορία τῆς μορφῆς -- αἰτεῖσθαι, αἰτοῦμαι, αἰτήσομαι, ᾐτησάμην
παθητική κατηγορία τῆς μορφῆς --αἰτηθῆναι, αἰτηθήσομαι, ᾐτηθην,
The κοινή διάθεσις is consistently indicated by the first category, ἐνεργητική κατηγορία τῆς μορφῆς -- αἰτῆσαι. The second and third category may indicate either ἑαυτική or παθητική διάθεσις.
- κοινή διάθεσις signifies a “common” or default sense. In English we would call this the “active voice” sense.
ἑαυτική διάθεσις indicates an emphasis to one degree or another on how the subject is affected. The action may be done very personally by him, to his advantage/disadvantage, or may be done to himself. The extreme degree of affectedness on the subject might indicate an action which in English we would call “passive.”
παθητική διάθεσις is a label used when the verb is clearly, by form and usage, carrying a "passive" idea.