voice

voice, grammatical category according to which an action is referred to as done by the subject (active, e.g., men shoot bears ) or to the subject (passive, e.g., bears are shot by men ). In Latin, voice is a category of inflection like mood or tense. In ancient Greek, verbs were conjugated in three voices: active, passive, and middle (reflexive).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Language and Linguistics