Verbal Aspect terms LONG?
Harry W. Jones
hjbluebird at aol.com
Thu May 23 22:54:53 EDT 2002
I don't know what happened Mark but I cann't find your online tread that
I printed out. But I was just wondering what your hypothesis was
the use of imperfective and perfective tenses by the writers of the Greek
> I am trying to present more thoughtful definitions in this post. At least I
> trying to define how I try to use them. Since I am trying to get a more firm
> grasp, please feel free to correct me where I am inconsistent.
> Here are the terms that are critical in understanding Verbal Aspect,
> if you ask me:
> 1. DC = Deictic Center (the reference point to which verbs relate)
> 2. Word = lexeme which has Lexical Aspect (Aspect the word inherently
> 3. FORM (what the form conveys)
> 3a. Tense (WHEN the event took place) = Event Time = Aorist, Present,
> 3b. Aspect (perfective or imperfective) = Conceptual Time = How event
> (This is Grammatical Aspect. You can also include stative aspect here, so
> 4. Context (the larger literary unit... paragraph, chapter, etc)
> 5. Aktionsart (Lexical Aspect + Grammatical Aspect + Context = Affected
> 5a. Conative (Imperfect)
> 5b. Historical (Present)
> 5c. Once-for-all-(Aorist)
> 5d. Ingressive (Aorist)
> 5e. Gnomic (Present)
> 5f. Iterative (Imperfect)
> 5g. Imperatival (Future)
> 5h. etc
> This is not an exhaustive list. You can, as grammarians sometimes
> do, create new categories/functions.
> Briefly then:
> 1. DC = Deictic Center
> The DC is often "the time of speaking/writing." Or the time that the author
> is writing about.
> Example: "I ate lunch." The DC is "current/speaking time."
> Hence, "I ate lunch PRIOR TO "now." Here the DC is understood
> but not stated. But authors generally create DC within their
> contexts. They might use an adverb; they might reference a place.
> They might introduce a new character or setting, etc.
> For example, the controversial passage in Matthew, where we
> find something like, "this generation will not pass away
> until after these things take place..."
> First, you have to deternine the DC. WHEN is this referring to.
> Here is something I am exploring:
> If the author puts the DC in the Future, he can still use
> an Aorist to convey an event PRIOR to the DC, which would be,
> oddly enough, future to the time of writing/speaking.
> This can become very tricky. Because an author/speaker can
> put a DC pretty much anywhere on a temporal line. If no DC
> is there, the verb is not making a temporal statement. (That is
> why the famous "the grass withers" which is an Aorist is not
> a Past/Prior-to-the-DC tense in THIS instance, because it is
> NOT a temporal statement. There is no DC.)
> Rev. 10:7
> hOTAN MELLHi SALPIZEIS KAI ETELESQH TO MUSTHRION TOU QEOU
> The mystery of God is here viewed as having run its course (it's
> over, it's been revealed) PRIOR TO the sound of the trumpet.
> The mystery has ceased by the time of the DC (sound of trumpet).
> Wallace calls this a futuristic aorist, whereas Porter would
> not see any temporal element at all in the aorist. For the
> development of TIME, Porter puts much emphasis on deixis, how
> the author creates the deictic center.
> 2. Word = lexeme which inherently has Lexical Aspect
> Certain words have inherent properties which influence
> the way they "unfold over time." The verb "stare" (durative) is different
> than the verb "glance." (punctiliar) And how these verbs interact with the
> particular FORMS they are coupled with makes a big difference.
> 3. FORM (what the form conveys)
> 3a. Tense (WHEN the event took place) = Event Time
> This is WHEN the event took place in relation to the DC.
> Aorist takes place PRIOR TO the DC, Present takes place
> at the same time as the DC, and the Future takes place
> AFTER the DC.
> 3b. Aspect (perfective or imperfective) = Conceptual Time
> Let's assume an event occurred over a 10 second time period.
> We can then represent the event by a line (10 seconds in "length")as:
> s = start of event
> e = end of event
> Imperfective forms might draw one's focus or attention
> to the middle of the above line, whereas a perfective form
> might draw our attention to the end. This becomes important
> when dealing with the various kinds of verbs, such as Activities,
> Accomplishments, Achievements, States. This is where I feel
> I need to invest more time to understand how this fits into
> Verbal Aspect.
> Fanning says concerning syntax, that is, when you combine all factors, this:
> each part of a sentence has meaning only in mutual interaction with other
> This is partly why each syntactical unit behaves uniquely, and may be the
> why I tend to forget that an Aorist in one place may behave differently than
> SAME Aorist in another syntactical construct.
> Example of Word plus FORM, the verb stare
> STARE plus an imperfective form appears to be when the author
> wants to focus attention on the event IN PROGRESS, as if he/she wants
> to draw the reader into the internal happenings of the event, without
> calling attention to the events beginning or end. This form is likened to
> a motion picture.
> STARE plus a perfective form (Aorist, for example) might portray the event
> IN SUMMARY, as would a snap shot. Here it appears that the author is simply
> calling attention to the fact that this event took place at some time.
> The event is simply identified to the reader, and WHEN
> the event took place. (There is no intent to draw attention to the
> of the event, as an imperfective would do.)
> Aktionsart (Lexical Aspect + Grammatical Aspect + Context = affected
> This is where interpretation comes in. Here you have to consider a
> word, used with a particular form, in a particular context, to determine how
> each FUNCTIONS.
> Okay, Harry, using the above definitions, whats your question.
> Mark Wilson
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