Aspect and Actionsart Distinction (was: aorist tense)

Ed Gorham aekalm at
Fri Oct 23 23:48:04 EDT 1998

Thanks for saying what was on my mind the other day.  I simply have not had 
a moment to address it until now.
To my mind there is a stark difference between the "postmodern fear of 
antithesis" and the co-exitence of two streams of thought that are equally 
valid and in fact, need one another.  The former puts all truth up for 
grabs and is out of the "anything goes" school of thought. The latter is an 
attempt to take the some of the latest thinking  and see how it can shed 
light on or embellish previous theories. If not valid, it should be cast 
aside.  But if it proves to be valid, then you have to deal with it in some 
The alternative is to reject either Aktionsart or aspect out-of-hand.  Does 
anyone see this as a legitimate option?  Porter, McKay, Fanning and others 
who have written on aspect have done much to help us with our 
understanding. The danger I'm trying to avoid is to take something that is 
new(to me, at least) like aspect, and absolutize it to the exclusion of 
other approaches.  Clearly, that would be the wrong path.
I am open to see what others of you have to say about this.
-Ed Gorham
aekalm at

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