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What is voice?

 

Definition
 

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:
     
    Generic
      Voice is a kind of
     
    Sources
     

    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.]

    Page content last modified: 5 January 2004

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