The category of voice

The category of voice (which is found both with finite and non-finite forms) is one of the most formal grammatical categories, because this category doesn’t refer to any fragment of reality, doesn’t reflect any fragment of reality – it’s a way of describing a certain fragment of reality. The category of voice deals with the participants of a happening (doer, action, object) and how they are represented in the sentence (subject, predicate, object). The Active Voice shows that the grammatical subject of the sentence or the subjectival is the doer of the action, denoted by the verb, the Passive Voice shows that the subject or the subjectival is an object of the action. The frequency of occurrence of the English Passive Voice is very great, greater than in Russian. One of the reasons is that the number of verbs capable of forming the Passive Voice is greater in English than in Russian. In many languages: PV – transitive verbs, in English: PV – any object verb. In some cases the lex. character of the verb the subj. of the active construction can’t be regarded as the doer of the action. These cases are: ex. He lost his father in the war.; he broke his leg. Disagreement btw the gram. form of the verb and the lex. mean-g of the verb. Due to the lex. mean-g of the V the semantics of the construction becomes passive. In fact the subj. is not the doer, but the sufferer. Some grammarians treat these constructions as active due to the gram. form.

Opposition: active – passive. Passive – marked -> pattern “be + II participle”, active –unmarked

Forms of Fut.Cont, Present Perf.Cont, Past Perf.Cont, Future Perf.Cont – no parallel forms in passive.

Any other voices??? -> doubts and controversy

- the reflexive voice (eq.He dressed himself) – the agent and the object of the action simultaneously ;

- the reciprocal voice (They greeted each other) – not 1 person; action aimed at the other member of the same group;

- the middle voice (The door opened) – the form of the v is act, but the meaning is passive.

The active voice has a number of mean-gs: active, passive, middle, reflective, reciprocal.

Pr. Ilyish “ Eng. Has several voices. The classif-n is based on mean-g only.

Pr. Barhudarov calls the active voice non-passive.

The idea of the Passive voice is expressed not only by means of “to be + P2”, but by means of “get”, “come”, “go” + P2 and “get” + passive infinitive (ingressive meaning - He got involved; He got to be respected).

The existence of various means of expressing voice distinctions makes it possible to consider voice as a functional-semantic category with the grammatical category of voice as its center and other means of expressing voice as a periphery.


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