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Middle-passive voice in Albanian and Greek1



In this paper we consider middle-passive voice in Greek and Albanian, which shows a many-to-many mapping between LF and PF. Different morphosyntactic shapes (conditioned by tense or aspect) are compatible with the same set of interpretations, which include the passive, the reflexive, the anticausative, and the impersonal (in Albanian only). Conversely, each of these interpretations can be encoded by any of the available morphosyntactic structures. Specialized person inflections (in Greek and Albanian), the clitic $u$ (Albanian) and the affix -th- (Greek) lexicalize the internal argument (or the sole argument of intransitive in Albanian) either as a variable, which is LF-interpreted as bound by the EPP position (passives, anticausatives, reflexives) or as generically closed (impersonals, in Albanian only). The ambiguity between passives, anticausatives and reflexives depends on the interpretation assigned to the external argument (generic closure, suppression or unification with the internal argument respectively). In perfect tenses, auxiliary jam ‘be’ in Albanian derives the expression of middle-passive voice due to its selectional requirement for a participle with an open position. Crucially, no hidden features/abstract heads encoding interpretation are postulated, nor any Distributed Morphology-style realizational component.


Corresponding author

Author’s address: Departimento di Lingue, Letterature e Studi Interculturali – Linguistica, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Via Cesare Battisti 4, 50122 Firenze,
Author’s address: Department of Philology, University of Patras, 26504 Rion,
Author’s address: Departimento di Lingue, Letterature e Studi Interculturali – Linguistica, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Via Cesare Battisti 4, 50122 Firenze,


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