Jim Wood, Matthew Tyler
November 2023

This chapter discusses phenomena associated with the Voice head, which is canonically responsible for introducing external arguments. This set of phenomena overlaps with, but is not coterminous with, the set of 'voice'-related phenomena recognised by typologists. We discuss the properties ascribed to the Voice head in various Minimalist analyses, including: whether the head is present or absent, whether it requires a specifier, whether it assigns case, how it is realized morphologically, and what it contributes semantically. We also highlight some of the challenges in the cross-linguistic comparison of voice phenomena, not least the fact that the Voice head can be realized in various forms, including affixes, light verbs, reflexive pronouns, and sets of phi-features. We argue that uncovering more details about what is and isn’t attributable to Voice can help us identify the fundamental building blocks that languages use to express and encode the presence, absence, and interpretation of arguments in general.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007197
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in The Cambridge Handbook of Comparative Syntax
keywords: voice head; external argument; case assignment; thematic interpretation; passive; middle; anticausative, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v1 [March 2023]
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