Typology of Diathesis and Voice in Kurdish

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate of Linguistics, Shahid Beheshti University

2 Associate Professor of Linguistics, Shahid Beheshti University


The definition and typological description of the category of voice can be provided in two ways: i) at the level of semantic arguments (or semantic roles), ii) at the level of grammatical relations (or syntactic functions). The most important theoretical concept that is determined in terms of these two levels of representations and enables one to capture the rich variety of voices is that of diathesis. Diathesis is defined as a pattern of mappingsemantic arguments onto syntactic functions. In the present research, we explore the typology of diathesis and voice in Kurdish language on the basis of Kulikov’s work (2011). The results of the research show that Kurdish has these diatheses: passive (agentless, absolute and impersonal), conversive, 2/3 permutation, causative (transitive and intransitive), antipassive, reflexive, reciprocal, and anticausative. Of these, only passive, causative and conversive have morphological realization on the verb. Therefore, based on this analysis, one can say that Kurdish has only three voices: passive, causative and conversive.


بامشادی، جواد (1392). بررسی تطبیقی ساختار فعل در گویش گورانی با زبان فارسی معیار. پایان­نامۀ کارشناسی ارشد، دانشگاه پیام نور واحد مهریز یزد.
فرزین یاسمی، سارا (1392). مجهول در کردی کلهری: دیدگاهی رده­شناختی. زبان­ها و گویش­های ایرانی، شمارۀ 3، 166-147.
کبودی، فرحناز (1390). بررسی ساختار فعل در کردی کرمانشاهی. پایان­نامۀ کارشناسی ارشد، دانشگاه رازی کرمانشاه.
کریمی­دوستان، غلامحسین و ویسی، رحمان (1387). حفظ یک ماده­ساز باستانی در ساخت مجهول در زبان کردی. مجلة دانشکدةادبیاتوعلومانسانیدانشگاهفردوسیمشهد، شمارۀ 160، 147-137.
ویسی­حصار، رحمان (1388). مجهول در فارسی و کردی بر اساس دستور ساختمدار بنیادی. پایان­نامۀ کارشناسی ارشد، دانشگاه کردستان.
Andersen, P. K. 1994. Empirical studies in diathesis, Münster: Nodus.
Babby, L. H. 2010. Voice and Diathesis in Slavic, Glossos, 10: 1-61.
Babby, L. H, and R. D. Brecht. 1975. The syntax of voice in Russian, Language, 51(2): 342–367.
Billings, L. 2010. Maranao, voice, and diathesis, In L. Billings & N. Goudswaard (eds.), Piakandatu ami Dr. Howard P. McKaughan (30–35), Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines and SIL Philippines.
Comrie, B. 1989. Language Universals & Linguistic Typology: Syntax & Morphology, Oxford: Blackwell.
Grimshaw, J. A. 1990. Argument structure, Cambridge/MA: MIT Press.
Haspelmath, M, and T. Müller-Bardey. 2005. Valence change, In G. Booij, C. Lehmann and J. Mugdan (eds.), A handbook on inflection and word formation (1130-1145), Berlin: de Gruyter.
Kageyama, T. 2006. Property description as a voice phenomenon. in T. Tsunoda & T. Kageyama (eds.), Voice and grammatical relations (85-114), Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Keenan, E. L, and M. S. Dryer. 2007. Passive in the world’s languages, In T. Shopen (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description (Vol. 1, 2nd ed.) (325-361), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kulikov, L. 2011. Voice Typology, In J. J. Song (ed.), The Oxford handbook of linguistic typology (368-398), Oxford: Oxford Universiy Press.
Langacker, R. W. 2006. Dimensions of defocusing, In T. Tsunoda & T. Kageyama (eds.), Voice and grammatical relations (115-137), Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Mel'čuk, I. A, and A. A. Xolodovič. 1970. Kteorii grammatičeskogo zaloga (Opredelenie. Isčislenie) [Towards a theory of grammatical voice (Definition. Calculus)], Narody Azii i Afriki, (4): 111–124.
Mithun, M. 2006. Voice without subjects, objects, or obliques, In T. Tsunoda & T. Kageyama (eds.), Voice and grammatical relations (195-216), Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Paducheva, E. V. 2003. Is there an “anticausative” component in the semantics of decausatives? Journal of Slavic Linguistics, 11(1): 173–198.
Shibatani, M. 1998. Voice Parameters. In L. Kulikov and H. Vater (eds), Typology of verbal categories [Papers presented to V. Nedjalkov on the occasion of his 70th birthday] (117–139), Tübingen: Niemeyer.
Shibatani, M. 2004. Voice. In G. E. Booij, C. Lehmann, J. Mugdan, & S. Skopeteas (eds.), Morphology: A handbook on inflection and word-formation (vol. 2) (1145–1165), Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Shibatani, M. 2006. On the conceptual framework for voice phenomena, Linguistics, 44(2): 217–269.
Volume 6, Issue 2
January 2016
Pages 1-20
  • Receive Date: 04 January 2016
  • Revise Date: 20 February 2016
  • Accept Date: 27 February 2016
  • First Publish Date: 27 February 2016