During several decades, syntactic reconstruction has been more or less regarded as a bootless and an unsuccessful venture, not least due to the heavy criticism in the 1970s from scholars like Watkins, Jeffers, Lightfoot, etc. This fallacious view culminated in Lightfoot’s (2002: 625) conclusion: “[i]f somebody thinks that they can reconstruct grammars more successfully and in more widespread fashion, let them tell us their methods and show us their results. Then we’ll eat the pudding.” This volume provides methods for the identification of i) cognates in syntax, and ii) the directionality of syntactic change, showcasing the results in the introduction and eight articles. These examples are offered as both tastier and also more nourishing than the pudding Lightfoot had in mind when discarding the viability of reconstructing syntax.
The aim of this article is to examine the directionality of change in Voice in relation to Tense/Aspect, foremost based on evidence from Greek as well as additional evidence from Early Vedic. Starting with the hypothesis that in (standard) Proto-Indo-European a number of innovations resulted in the introduction of some elements of the Perfect-Stative inflection into the Present (cf. Kulikov & Lavidas 2013), we study the directionality of change in Voice. We show that the original relationship between Tense/Aspect and Voice determines the directionality of change in Voice in Greek. Basing our study on the analysis of Vedic active Perfects that are intransitive and belong with middle Presents, we claim that this initial relationship between Voice and Tense/Aspect can be reconstructed on the basis of some tendencies and changes found in several Indo-European dialects, in particular in Greek forms. We also argue that the relationship between Tense/Aspect and Voice in the diachrony of Greek depends on the new features acquired by the voice morphology as well as on the development of the categories Tense and Aspect.