Case and Voice

Masayoshi Shibatani

in The Oxford Handbook of Case

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780199206476
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Case and Voice

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


Show Summary Details


Voice refers to the pattern of the form-function correlation along the parameters pertaining to the evolutionary properties of an action. Hence, there are marked voice categories pertaining to the origin of an action, for example, the nature of the agent (spontaneous, passive, causative); those pertaining to the nature of the development of an action, for example, the affectedness of the patient (middle, antipassive); as well as those pertaining to the termination of an action, for example, the affectedness of other entities than the patient (applicatives, external possession). In addition to these conceptual dimensions, voice phenomena are also controlled by the pragmatic factor of discourse relevance (such as inherent and contextual discourse topicality) of the event participants. The notion of transitivity in grammar and discourse is integral to the study of voice. This article examines case and voice, focusing on case in derived constructions. It discusses spontaneous voice, passive and antipassive, antipassive in accusative languages, passive in ergative languages, case hierarchy and verbal voice morphology, and applicative voice.

Keywords: case; voice; grammar; passive; antipassive; accusative languages; ergative languages; case hierarchy; verbal voice; morphology

Article.  5325 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.