Hair-splitting for the Bald

Paul S. Dixon dixonps at
Sat Jul 10 10:48:43 EDT 1999

On Sat, 10 Jul 1999 06:03:21 -0400 "Carl W. Conrad"
<cwconrad at> writes:
>At 9:52 AM +0200 7/10/99, Daniel Ria=F1o wrote:
>>Carl W. Conrad Wrote:
>>>>(1) I do believe (but am not prepared at present to document) that 
>>>>ratio of perfects/aorists is indeed considerably higher in 
>>>>narrative Greek than it is in Koine. Probably this is something 
>>>>HAS been documented, but I can't put my hands on it now.
>> It has. A very good place to look for data, sound explanations and
>>bibliography is Duhoux, Yves.   "Le verbe grec ancien. =C9l=E9ments 
>>morphologie et de syntaxe historiques."  Louvain-la-Neuve, 1992. In 
>>9 (pp. 497) you can find the don=E9es statistiques:
>>	Aor.		Perf./Pl.Perf.
>>                  --------------------------------------------
>>Ilias	5334	86.27%	849	13.73%
>>Odyssea	3944	84.89%	702	15.11%
>>Herodotus.	4900	81.31%	1126	18.69%
>>Thucydides	4054	89.12%	495	10.88%
>>Att. Aut.	398	70.19%	169	29.81%
>> 	1. data from Il., Od. Th. comes from Schlachter, L. 
>>Untersuchungen =FCber den Gebrauch der Tempora und Modi bei einzelnen
>>griechischen Schrifstellern (I-III)." *IF* 22, 23, 24 (1907-1908,
>>1908-1909, 1909): 202-242, 165-204, 189-221.
>>	2. *Att. Aut.* stands for a choix d' auteurs attiques (from 
>>centuries a.C.) and the collection of data for this selections comes 
>>Chanet, A.M. "A propos du verbe grec. Questions de fr=E9cuence 
>>classique)." *Cratyle* 9 (1984): 1-15.
>My heartfelt thanks to Daniel for sharing this information. It is 
>for documenting the changes taking place over the course of time in 
>usage of the tenses. It strikes me that another kind of investigation 
>would promote this end is documenting which aorists in the GNT serve 
>function of a pluperfect by indicating time prior to that of the main
>clause; this is not unrelated, I'm sure, to the usage of the aorist
>circumstantial participle to indicate time prior to that of a main 

Yes, that was helpful.  Now, let's pool our data together.
Shouldn't be too hard to do.  You've already run an Accordance
check on the number of perfects and pluperfects in the GNT,
and somebody from Multnomah (sorry, his post was accidentally
deleted; ugh) ran it on the LXX.  

Could somebody run an Accordance check for the number of
aorists in the narrative sections of the GNT (Gospels, Acts)?
Then, let's check the ratios of perfects/aorists in the narrative
sections of the GNT, LXX and Classical works.  If your theory
holds, Carl, then the ratio diminishes with time.

Paul Dixon

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