Re: Active, deponent, passive
Didn't mean to suggest any origins or explanations for deponency. Sorry
if I led anyone off course on that.
Whaley is certainly correct.
Indeed English, like with the others noted, has no significant group of
passive-only/deponent verbs ("be born, be ensconced," a few others, and
pseudo-passives like "be longlegged" or "be ashamed"), and these do not
take objects. I also was glad to see that English (a bit of an oddball
among European languages in this matter) is not alone in the world.
My intent was simply to show that English demonstrates passive verb
forms that accept direct objects, where we would require students to
parse the verb as passive, despite the apparent transitivity. The
parsing of a Greek deponent verb, in turn, would by analogy be better
parsed as the actual voice that appears rather than as the multivalent
and/or ambivalent "deponent" label, which also fails to distinguish
middle from passive.
___________________________ Reply Separator ______________________________
Subject: Re: Active, deponent, passive
Author: Lindsay.J.Whaley@dartmouth.edu_at_internet at X400PO
Date: 10/28/94 1:40 PM
With regard to David Wigtil's remarks on deponent/passive forms, it should
pointed out that Greek writers also "(perversely?) allow indirect object
items to behave as passive verb subjects." (E.g. in Romans 3:2).
In fact, examples of "secondary passive" are found in all kinds of languages
which have nothing like deponent verbs, including most Bantu languages, some
Mayan languages, Indonesian, Chammarro, Seri, and many others. Therefore, I
think it is a mistake to suggest that deponency is established on the basis
of an object-like nominal co-occurring with a passive verb form.