These two positions don't even seem close

Mark Wilson emory2002 at
Sun Aug 27 16:01:26 EDT 2000

Wayne Leman wrote:

>Wallace, like Porter, recognizes the aspectual nature of the so-called 
>tenses. Wallace makes this clear in his textbook Greek Grammar Beyond the
>Basics. There is a relationship between Greek aspect and implicit (but
>morphologically unmarked) tense, just as there is in many languages which
>have aspect systems for their verbs, but it is not a direct relationship
>where aorist always corresponds to past tense, etc.

I should have made my question clearer. Anyone surprised  :o P

I realize, to some extent, the agreement with Wallace and Porter regarding 
Aktionsart. My interest is with Tense only. Regarding the Aorist Tense, 
Wallace says:

"In the indicative, the aorist usually indicates past time with reference to 
time of speaking... There are exceptions to this general rule, of course, 
but they are due to intrusions from other linguistic features vying for 
control." (GGBB pg.555)

I take this to mean that the Aorist Tense is a Past Tense, according to 
Wallace, and that the past tense meaning of the Aorist can be suppressed, 
but only by outside influences. Porter, as best I can tell, does not hold to 
a "past tense" meaning to the Aorist Indicative.

Earlier Wallace says:

"There are occasions when time is not involved in the indicative. This is 
due to other phenomena... But in their unaffected meaning, the tenses in the 
indicative mood include a temporal marker."

I believe Porter's Verbal Aspect takes exception to this statement. Again, I 
am not referring to Aktionsart, only inherent TEMPORAL meaning.

Wallace has a section called: An Assessment of Time in the Verb Tenses.

In this section, it seems obvious to me that Wallace and Porter hold to 
mutually exclusive positions. To the extent that Wallace states:

"The nontemporal view (of Porter ??) does not easily handle the issue of 
redundancy of tenses, nor the fact that two tenses disappear outside the 

Far be it from me to question Wayne, but I can not believe I have completely 
missed Wallace's disagreement with Porter regarding Tense.

Please straighten me out. As you can see, I sometimes get a little impatient 
  *<[:O )---

Thank you,

Mark Wilson

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