Medium (grammar)

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The medium , also mediopassive , is an old Indo-European genus verbi (also diathesis ), between active and passive . It expresses that an action has an immediate effect on the actor.

In terms of linguistic history , the medium is older than the passive and also to be seen as its forerunner. The latter can be clearly recognized by the fact that in ancient languages ​​that know the medium, many conjugation forms of the medium correspond to those of the passive voice. Because a formally separate passive voice is not accepted in the Indo-European original language ; instead, there was the medium that denoted intransiveness (lat. abdor , 'I am hidden' or 'I lie hidden'), as well as reciprocity (lat. abduntur , 'they hide each other' ) and, furthermore, that the subject of the sentence is also a direct or indirect object (Latin abdor 'I hide myself' or 'I hide myself' - the latter meaning, that of interest, is no longer recognizable in Latin, however).

In our closer cultural area, ancient Greek still has all conjugation forms ( tenses and modes ) that occur in active and passive, also in the medium.

Also in the conjugation of the verbs in Sanskrit there are in the categories, the three genera verbi, the active ( Parasmaipada ) ("he sees"), medium ( Atmanepada ) ("he sees himself / he is seen") and passive (" he is seen ”), which, however, is usually represented by the medium (also in an impersonal form:“ It should be gone ”= polite form for“ Go please! ”).

Among other things, the meaning of the medium corresponds to the reflexive verbs : hurry up, remember, get lost. It is also used to express an intention in the interests of the subject : to earn something for oneself. The action or change of an event also happens to the subject of the sentence: “The tree is falling.” If the verbs are used reflexively, the subject becomes the object of an action: “ I am washing myself ”.

In Latin and Greek there is the verb class of the so-called Deponentien , which only exist in the grammatical form of the passive, e.g. B. mirari 'wonder', 'admire'. This is due to an original medium. See also the active translation of Tempora mutantur .

Individual evidence

  1. Rosemarie Lühr: Type of event and change of diathesis in Indo-European. In: H. Craig Melchert (Ed.): The Indo-European Verb Proceedings of the Conference of the Society for Indo-European Studies, Los Angeles September 13-15, 2010. pp. 213-224 ( Memento of the original January 21 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Daniel Schnorbusch: Diathesen, PSV syntax accompanying sheets. Winter semester 2012/2013, 6th cover sheet, University of Munich, pp. 31–38