Abstract and Keywords
Voice or diathesis, as first termed by Dionysius, is the grammatical category by which the arguments of the verb receive different prominence status in the sentence through a variety of semantic-syntactic and even pragmatic coding patterns. In verbs involving at least two arguments, the arrangement is always asymmetrical, with one argument being more prominent than the other. For all languages, there seems to be a canonical unmarked voice pattern, most commonly the active, where the agent is more prominent than the patient. Active voice contrasts with a variety of marked voice patterns: passive, anti-passive, inverse, and middle. This article provides a cognitive grammar approach that motivates the emergence of a variety of voice marking systems as corresponding to alternative conceptualization strategies. It considers Ann Cooreman's four-way distinction of voice marking systems: active direct voice, inverse voice, passive voice, and anti-passive voice. Finally, it looks at Philippine languages, which constitute a knotty problem for voice systems.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.