Mk 10:20 aspectology

clayton stirling bartholomew c.s.bartholomew at
Tue Aug 29 14:29:18 EDT 2000

In Mark 10:20 we read:


Now I would expect one of the latter-day proponents of aspectology to raise
the question why do see the form  EFULAXAMHN here? Is this question worth

The word group FULASSW, FULASSOMAI has semantic properties (see L&N below)
which override the morphological tense/aspect marking. I would conclude from
this that getting preoccupied with the tense/aspect marking of EFULAXAMHN in
this context is chasing phantoms. Looking for something that isn't there.
The primary contribution that EFULAXAMHN makes to this context is found in
the domain of lexical semantics, not tense/aspect marking.

This leads me to one of my basic disagreements with Systemic Functional
Linguistics. The idea that every low level language feature is a matter of
"choice" and therefore represents some sort of authorial intent. I don't buy
this at all. I think that a lot of low level language features (e.g.
tense/aspect) are simply conventions of a most mundane sort which tell us
little or nothing about what the author is saying. Getting preoccupied with
them is like standing in the Art Institute of Chicago with your nose three
inches from a Cezanne looking at the texture of the canvas. You aren't going
to make any sense out of cubism from three inches away.


Louw & Nida on FULASSW, FULASSOMAI (edited)

13.154  to make a distinct effort to keep oneself from doing something

36.19  to continue to obey orders or commandments ‹ Œto obey, to keep
commandments, obedience.¹

37.119 (an idiom, literally Œto guard a guarding¹): to be on one¹s guard
against some eventuality ‹ Œto guard against, to keep under watch, to watch

37.120 to hold someone in close custody ‹ Œto guard closely.¹

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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