Voice is typically a feature of verbs. It may also occur with other parts of speech (nouns, adjectives, adverbs), depending on whether borderline word forms such as gerunds and participles are classified as verbs or as the other category.
For Indo-European speakers, voice means mainly the active-passive distinction. In other languages, other shades of verb meaning are categorized as voice.
Act: active voice
The subject of the verb is the doer of the action (agent), the object is affected by the action (patient).
- [cs] Napadli jsme nepřítele. “We attacked the enemy” (the active participle napadli can be used to form either past tense or conditional mood; here it forms the past tense.)
Mid: middle voice
Between active and passive, needed e.g. in Ancient Greek or Sanskrit.
Pass: passive voice
The subject of the verb is affected by the action (patient). The doer (agent) is either unexpressed or it appears as an object of the verb.
- [cs] Jsme napadeni nepřítelem. “We are attacked by the enemy” (the passive participle napadeni is used to form passive in all tenses; here it forms the present passive.)
Antip: antipassive voice
In ergative-absolutive languages, an ergative subject is demoted to an absolutive subject.
Dir: direct voice
Used in direct-inverse voice systems, e.g. in North American languages. Direct means that the argument that is higher in salience hierarchy is the subject. Example hierarchy: human 1st person – 2nd – 3rd – non-human animate – inanimate.
Inv: inverse voice
Used in direct-inverse voice systems, e.g. in North American languages. Inverse voice marking means that the argument lower in the hierarchy functions as subject.
Rcp: reciprocal voice
- [tr] karıştı, tutuştular
Cau: causative voice
Documentation of the METU Sabanci treebank classifies causative as voice (page 26). Note that this is a feature of verbs. There are languages that have also the causative case of nouns.
- [tr] karıştırıyor “is confusing”
Voice in other languages: [am] [ar] [bg] [bxr] [ca] [ckb] [cop] [cs] [cu] [da] [de] [el] [en] [es] [et] [eu] [fa] [fi] [fo] [fr] [ga] [gl] [got] [grc] [he] [hi] [hr] [hu] [id] [it] [ja] [kk] [kmr] [ko] [la] [lv] [mr] [nl] [no] [pl] [pt] [ro] [ru] [sa] [sk] [sla] [so] [sr] [sv] [swl] [ta] [tr] [u] [ug] [uk] [ur] [urj] [vi] [yue] [zh]