9.1457, Sum: Optative Mood in Greek Language

Don Wilkins dwilkins at ucr.campus.mci.net
Wed Oct 21 16:41:54 EDT 1998

I just sent the following note to M. Rossini c/o Mari Olsen, when I
actually intended to send it to the list:

> I appreciate the hard work which obviously went into this study, but the
> results strain credibility IMO. My own impression is that the optative is
> alive and well even in NT times (and probably beyond, to a point), and I
> fail to see how it can be said to be weakening in classical works, where to
> the contrary it appears to flourish. Is this an instance of applying
> linguistic methodology to the literature without reading the latter?
> Perhaps the impression is being gathered that the optative is weak because
> it does not appear as frequently as other moods, but I'm probably being too
> simplistic. If the optative was showing signs of weakness this early
> (according to the study), when *did* it flourish?

Mari was very kind to reply, and commented that she was just passing on the
remarks of the researcher. It would be helpful to know more specifically
what M. Rossini is using as criteria leading to the conclusions drawn as to
the "weakness" of the optative.

Don Wilkins

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