R A Brown, On 13/08/2007 20:10: > Elliott Lash wrote: >> deponent passive >> mori-or 'I die' ~ am-or 'I am loved' > > Umm - I fail to see how "I die, I am dying" can possibly be considered > _active_! Surely, if anything is passive, dying is. > > (I discount suicides from this - but they are a tiny minority, and then > the reflexive 'I am killing myself' is perhaps more appropriate.) > > It has always seemed to me that Latin is rather more true to reality in > giving the verb "to die" passive endings. I have yet to be convinced > that 'morior' should be classified as a deponent verb any more that > 'nascor' (I am being born) should be. The babe that gets thrust into int > the world from its mother's womb s hardly the agent. At least with this > verb English uses passive forms as well as Latin; yet, strangely > anglophone Latin textbooks still list 'nascor' as a deponent - weird! This is an interesting view. As you well know, in English and, I think, linguistics in general, 'passive' means a construction in which the participant expressed by the active subject is either unexressed or expressed by an oblique argument, and in which a participant expressed other than by the active subject is expressed by the passive subject. So I interpret your remarks to be an argument that so-called 'passive' morphology in Latin marks not a true grammatical passive construction but rather an intransitive verb with a nonagentive subject (a.k.a. 'unaccusative'). In other words, the classic example of morphological deponency is not in actual fact an example of deponency at all... --And.