Perfective, Imperfective, and Iterative

B. Ward Powers bwpowers at
Thu May 23 02:11:28 EDT 2002

Dear b-greekers,

At 04:33 PM 020521 -0400, Harry W. Jones wrote:
>Dear Mark,
>I was hoping that you could explain your hypothesis in terms that
>I could understand. For example, my Greek grammar book defines Aktionsart 
>as Durative, Punctiliar and State of completion.

Contributors to the list are using a wide variety of terms as we attempt to 
come to grips with some of these issues. It is becoming common to find 
references in contributions to Perfective, Imperfective, Iterative, etc., 
which represent a pretty complete change to the previously more customary 
(and uniform) terminology. I have to look carefully at context to be able 
to hazard a guess at what is being meant at times.

When it comes to this use of terminology, I am inevitably reminded of a 
precedent in Judges 17:6, 21:25: Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Moulton in Vol. 1 of his "Grammar", p.109, advocates the terms "durative" 
and "punctiliar" for the aspect of the present/imperfect and aorist tenses 
respectively, and these terms, along with "perfective" (for the aspect of 
the perfect and pluperfect tenses) are the ones used in my copy of 
Blass-Debrunner-Funk ("A Greek Grammar of the N.T."), p.166.

I consider that these other "new" alternative terms (as in the heading of 
this thread) are confusing rather than helpful.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers        Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street          Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM  NSW  2049      email: bwpowers at
AUSTRALIA.                         Director, Tyndale College

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