Middle Voice

A comparative study in the syntax-semantics interface of German

| Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
ISBN 9789027227713 (Eur) | EUR 130.00
ISBN 9781588111944 (USA) | USD 195.00
ISBN 9789027297556 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
This book offers a completely new analysis of the syntax and semantics of transitive reflexive sentences in German, which is embedded in the major phenomenon of the middle voice in Indo-European languages. It integrates the interpretation of non-argument reflexives into a modified version of recent theories of binding. The ambiguity of the reflexive pronoun is derived at the interface between syntax and semantics and does not rely on additional lexical or syntactic rules of argument suppression and argument promotion. This shift towards the semantic interpretation of syntactic arguments enables the author to offer a unified analysis of the middle, the anticausative and the reflexive interpretations. Furthermore, the crucial distinction between structural and oblique case forms is discussed and it is illustrated how specific properties of middle constructions such as adverbial modification or subject responsibility can be related to the generic interpretation of middle constructions.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 50]  2002.  xii, 337 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of abbreviations
1. Introduction
2. Middle constructions and middle voice: What does a middle look like?
3. Lexical and syntactic approaches to middle formation
4. The syntax of transitive reflexive sentences: Word order, coordination, focus, and fronting
5. The interpretation of reflexive pronouns in German
6. Suppressed arguments and dative objects
7. Middle constructions revisited
8. Conclusion
Subject index
“My overall evaluation is positive. The book reads easily. The book is necessary reading for everyone interested in reflexivity, middle voice, middle constructions and German grammar.”
Cited by

Cited by 22 other publications

No author info given
2019.  In Patient-Subject Constructions in Mandarin Chinese [Studies in Chinese Language and Discourse, 12], Crossref logo
No author info given
2020.  In The Middle Voice in Baltic [Valency, Argument Realization and Grammatical Relations in Baltic, 5], Crossref logo
Alexiadou, Artemis & Florian Schäfer
2020.  In The Cambridge Handbook of Germanic Linguistics,  pp. 461 ff. Crossref logo
Benedetti, Marina
2016. Steps in the middle (voice): ancient Greek grammarians, Bopp and beyond. Historical Linguistics 129:1  pp. 154 ff. Crossref logo
Bisiada, Mario
2019. Translated Language or Edited Language? A Study of Passive Constructions in Translation Manuscripts and their Published Versions. Across Languages and Cultures 20:1  pp. 35 ff. Crossref logo
Chen, Yue
2019. A construction-based account of the synchrony and diachrony of the Chinese middle construction. International Journal of Chinese Linguistics 6:2  pp. 260 ff. Crossref logo
Garzonio, Jacopo
2016.  In Le lingue slave tra struttura e uso [Biblioteca di Studi Slavistici, 31],  pp. 127 ff. Crossref logo
Hendriks, Petra, John C. J. Hoeks & Jennifer Spenader
2014. Reflexive choice in Dutch and German. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 17:3  pp. 229 ff. Crossref logo
Lekakou, Marika & Marcel Pitteroff
2018. This is personal: Impersonal middles as disposition ascriptions. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 3:1 Crossref logo
Mitkovska, Liljana & Eleni Bužarovska
2021. Quasi-passive reflexive constructions: Bridging autonomous and passive situations. Linguistic Typology 25:2  pp. 303 ff. Crossref logo
Oya, Toshiaki
2017. Let middles in Dutch and German: False friends?. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 20:3  pp. 229 ff. Crossref logo
Pafel, Jürgen
2011.  In Einführung in die Syntax,  pp. 253 ff. Crossref logo
Pitteroff, Marcel
2015. Non-canonical middles: a study of personal let-middles in German. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 18:1  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Ratkus, Artūras
2020. The (Non‐)Existence of the Middle Voice in Gothic: In Search of a Mirage. Transactions of the Philological Society 118:2  pp. 263 ff. Crossref logo
Schäfer, Florian
2012. The passive of reflexive verbs and its implications for theories of binding and case. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 15:3  pp. 213 ff. Crossref logo
2014. The emergence of English reflexive verbs: an analysis based on the Oxford English Dictionary. English Language and Linguistics 18:1  pp. 49 ff. Crossref logo
Sperlich, Darcy
2020.  In Reflexive Pronouns: A Theoretical and Experimental Synthesis [Language, Cognition, and Mind, 8],  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Sperlich, Darcy
2020.  In Reflexive Pronouns: A Theoretical and Experimental Synthesis [Language, Cognition, and Mind, 8],  pp. 21 ff. Crossref logo
Vogeleer, Svetlana
2012. Habituals with indefinite singular objects: aspect and modality1. Recherches linguistiques de Vincennes :41  pp. 191 ff. Crossref logo
Werner, Martina
2020. Three diachronic sources for the development of -erei-based synthetic compounds in German. Word Structure 13:3  pp. 347 ff. Crossref logo
Wood, Jim
2015.  In Icelandic Morphosyntax and Argument Structure [Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 90],  pp. 207 ff. Crossref logo
Xiong, Jiajuan & Chu-Ren Huang
2020.  In From Minimal Contrast to Meaning Construct [Frontiers in Chinese Linguistics, 9],  pp. 135 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 november 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2002016438 | Marc record