Voice Typology

Leonid Kulikov

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Typology

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199281251
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

Voice Typology

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  • Linguistics
  • Linguistic Typology
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology



This article provides definitions of ‘voice’ and related concepts within a slightly simplified version of the framework developed by the Leningrad–St Petersburg Typology Group. The three main formal means of encoding grammatical relations are case marking, verbal agreement, and word order. The category of ‘voice’ is determined on the basis of the concept of diathesis as follows: voice is a regular encoding of diathesis through verbal morphology. The article then deals with diatheses and voices in a broader sense of the term, i.e. with the changes in syntactic patterns that suggest some operations on the set of semantic roles and/or do not preserve this set intact. The relationships between diatheses/voices are also covered. Reciprocal markers may result from reduplication of reflexive morphemes. The causative markers can develop from verbal affixes with non-causative meanings.

Keywords: voice; case marking; verbal agreement; word order; diathesis; verbal morphology; causative markers; reciprocal markers

Article.  8476 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Linguistic Typology ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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