The Proleptic Aorist revisited

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Fri May 31 02:57:35 EDT 2002


Mark,

It seems to me that the examples you give are good examples of the Greek
aorist being used not as a tense marker, but as a verb form with a
perfective aspect. Tense and aspect operate on different levels, and it
appears that the Greek aorist at times is used to indicate a past time
event, and at times is used to indicate perfective aspect. Sometimes both
perfective aspect and past tense are involved. When two independent
parameters overlay, one or the other can be more prominent.

The perfective aspect indicates that an event is *considered* as completed,
even if it has not yet been completed or not even begun in the "real" world.
In English it corresponds to something being "as good as done". For a future
time reference, the perfective aspect indicates "it will certainly be done",
the decision has been made and nothing can stop it.

My thoughts,

Iver Larsen




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