To start this discussion as a separate thread, here are a few quotes from ongoing discussions on B-Greek regarding the middle voice. I would really like to LIMIT this discussion to a comparison of modern Greek middle voice to Koine Greek middle voice.
Stephen Carlson wrote:
According to M. Klaiman, grammatical voice in the world's languages can be viewed as belong to one of three kinds of voice systems, two of which are found in Europe. One is a "derived voice system," which features an active-passive contrast. English is a good example. Another is a "basic voice system," which features an active-middle contrast. Greek is a good example. These two systems do different things and categorize diathesis somewhat different. Although some of the functions of the English passive correspond to some of the function of the Greek middle, there are also many differences.
As a result, it is better to try to understand how the Greek basic voice system works rather than try to force fit into a derived voice system. To use an analogy, asking whether a Greek middle is really a passive is like asking whether the word "house" in the phrase "in the house" is really a dative or an accusative. As meaningful as the distinction between a dative and an accusative might be to someone used to these categories, that question is not really looking at how prepositional phrases work in English.
To be sure, there is a long tradition of Greek pedagogy that uses the term "passive." Sometimes it refers to a morphological category (the -θη- forms); sometimes to a semantic category. People aren't always clear about what they mean. And it does not help matters that the English passive system is more complex and interesting than how it is usually presented in schoolbooks. For example, English has a category of "get-passives" (in competition with be-passives) that tends to be overlooked, even when the get-passive performs several functions similar to that of the Greek middle. But these tend to get ignored all too often in treatments of the Greek middle.
Mike Aubrey wrote:
the current standard linguistic literature on the subject [are]: Kemmer, Allan, Klaiman, Shibatani, Manney, etc.
For a start, I thought I would give worldcat links to the above works. I'm reading through Allan and Kemmer, and have ordered (Interlibrary loan) Manney. Are there any other articles or works an old guy like me, with a little ancient linguistic background (transformational generative syntax) can read to get a better overview. Is there any book which should be read first. Here is the list I have so far compiled:
Passive and Voice. Masayoshi Shibatani. Typological studies in language, v. 16. (1988) http://www.worldcat.org/title/passive-and-voice/oclc/715217548&referer=brief_results
Grammatical Voice. M. Klaiman. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics, no. 59. (1991). http://www.worldcat.org/title/grammatical-voice/oclc/23048672&referer=brief_results
Middle voice in modern Greek. Author: Linda Joyce Manney. DissertationThesis (Ph. D.)--University of Calif., San Diego, 1993. http://www.worldcat.org/title/middle-voice-in-modern-greek/oclc/81393468&referer=brief_results
The Middle Voice. Author: Suzanne Kemmer. Typological studies in language, v. 23.(Amsterdam ; Philadelphia : John Benjamins Pub. Co., 1993). http://www.worldcat.org/title/middle-voice/oclc/769188773&referer=brief_results
Middle voice in modern Greek: meaning and function of an inflectional category. Author: Linda Joyce Manney. Studies in language companion series, v. 48.
(Amsterdam ; Philadelphia : John Benjamins Pub., 2000). http://www.worldcat.org/title/middle-voice-in-modern-greek-meaning-and-function-of-an-inflectional-category/oclc/70767206&referer=brief_results
The middle voice in ancient Greek : a study in polysemy. Author: Rugter Allan (Note all a's in the name). Amsterdam studies in classical philology, v. 11. (Amsterdam : J.C. Gieben, 2003). http://www.worldcat.org/title/middle-voice-in-ancient-greek-a-study-in-polysemy/oclc/52217081&referer=brief_results
Voice and grammatical relations : In honor of Masayoshi Shibatani. Authors: Masayoshi Shibatani; Tasaku Tsunoda; Tarō Kageyama. Typological studies in language, v. 65; Amsterdam ; Philadelphia : J. Benjamins Pub. Co., 2006) http://www.worldcat.org/title/voice-and-grammatical-relations-in-honor-of-masayoshi-shibatani/oclc/133163893&referer=brief_results
Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language. David Holton, Peter Mackridge, Irene Philippaki-Warburton, Vassilios Spyropoulos (Routledge; 2 edition - revision of 1997 edition, 2012). http://www.worldcat.org/title/greek-a-comprehensive-grammar/oclc/704121318&referer=brief_results