I've always had a problem with the construction "he died". It is in the active voice, implying that he actively did something.
He didn't actively do anything, of course. He ceased to exist. His being ceased to be.
But even those two statements are in the active voice: "He ceased..." I guess I'm looking for something in the passive voice. Like, "he was died" or "he got dead".
Yet those invented passive-voice constructions are not quite right, either. They still suggest that some sort of action took place, something acted upon him.
It's really just a transition of states:
He was [in the state of being] alive.
Now he is [in the state of being] dead.
I'm looking for a linguistic construction that describes the transition from one state to another without any implication of action.
What am I reaching for here?
Thanks to all those who provided comments.
Hopefully this will provide some clarity on the thrust of my question:
Some verbs describe an action performed by the subject (e.g., to run, to jump, to throw, to talk, to cook). Other verbs describe the subject transitioning from one state of being to another, requiring no action on the part of the subject (e.g., to become, to stop existing, to cease to be, to appear, to disappear, to turn into, to materialize, to dematerialize, to die, to come alive).
Do linguists distinguish between these two categories of verbs?