Verbal Aspect terms LONG?

Harry W. Jones hjbluebird at aol.com
Thu May 23 22:54:53 EDT 2002


Dear Mark(Wilson),

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
concerning
the use of imperfective and perfective tenses by the writers of the Greek
NT?

Best Regards,
Harry Jones

> Harry:
> 
> 
> I am trying to present more thoughtful definitions in this post. At least I
> am
> 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 
> conveys)
> 
> 3. FORM (what the form conveys)
>   3a. Tense   (WHEN the event took place) = Event Time = Aorist, Present,
> Imperfect
>   3b. Aspect  (perfective or imperfective) = Conceptual Time = How event
> portrayed
> (This is Grammatical Aspect. You can also include stative aspect here, so
> Fanning.)
> 
> 4. Context (the larger literary unit... paragraph, chapter, etc)
> 
> 5. Aktionsart (Lexical Aspect + Grammatical Aspect + Context = Affected
> meaning)
>   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.)
> 
> Example:
> 
> 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-------------------------------------e
> 
> 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
> words”
> 
> This is partly why each syntactical unit behaves uniquely, and may be the
> reason
> why I tend to forget that an Aorist in one place may behave differently than
> the
> 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 event’s 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 
> particulars
> of the event, as an imperfective would do.)
> 
> 
> Aktionsart (Lexical Aspect + Grammatical Aspect + Context = affected 
> meaning)
> 
> This is where interpretation comes in. Here you have to consider a 
> particular
> word, used with a particular form, in a particular context, to determine how
> each FUNCTIONS.
> 
> Okay, Harry, using the above definitions, what’s your question.
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Mark Wilson
> 
> 
> 
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