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What is voice?



Voice is a grammatical category that expresses the semantic functions attributed to the referents of a clause. It indicates whether the subject is an

  • actor
  • patient, or
  • recipient.
Examples (English)
  • The following sentence is in active voice:

  • Jones built the house.
  • The following sentence is in passive voice:

  • The house was built by Jones.
  • Kinds
      Here are some kinds of voice:
      Voice is a kind of

    Pei and Gaynor 1954 228–229


    Hartmann and Stork 1972 251–252


    Nida 1949 168


    Elson and Pickett 1988 31


    Bybee 1985 20–21


    Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 159


    Crystal 1985 329


    Mish 1991 1320

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    Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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