[B-Greek] Speaking clearly: grammatical aspect, lexical aspect

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri Jul 6 10:31:09 EDT 2007

On Jul 6, 2007, at 9:43 AM, Eric Weiss wrote:

> Thanks!
>   His definition of "aspect" seems easier to explain/understand  
> than his definition of
>   "aktionsart."
>   But by defining both as "the feature of the Greek language," he  
> seems to imply that
>   other languages don't or may not have "aspect" and "aktionsart."

I thought you said you had this book at home; remember that it's  
entitled "Pocket
Dictionary for the Study of New Testament GREEK" -- it's not trying  
to give a
general introduction to Linguistics (but it IS very helpful in  
explaining several
terms that Linguists use in describing languages generally, as well  
as in
describing Greek.

>   I suspect that other languages also have "aspect" and  
> "aktionsart," but they
>   are perhaps coded differently in their grammar and syntax than  
> Greek encodes
>   them (if I'm saying this correctly.)
> "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu> wrote:
> On Jul 6, 2007, at 8:41 AM, Eric Weiss wrote:
>>> Matthew S. Demoss, _Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament
>>> Greek," offers this for "Aktionsart": "The feature of the Greek
>>> language whereby the quasi-objective quality of the verbal action is
>>> indicated (duration, repetition, momentary occurrence, etc.), both
>>> morphologically by tense forms and lexico-syntactically according to
>>> contextual features. Some older grammars used the terms synonymously
>>> with aspect."
>> I have that dictionary at home. For comparison/contrast, how does
>> he define "aspect"?
>> The above is "all Greek to me," though, and I'm not sure how best
>> to simplify and
>> explain it to my class when it comes time to discuss verbs and
>> aspect. That's one
>> thing I found from my brief perusal of this Pocket Dictionary -
>> i.e., sometimes the
>> definitions presume a level of language understanding that a
>> newbie to NT Greek
>> might not have.
> Demoss re: "Aspect":
> "The feature of the Greek language inherent to the tense-system thata
> denotes the speaker/writer's subjective viewpoint or portrayal of the
> verbal action, whether progressive ("internal," "imperfective"),
> summary ("external," "perfective") or perfect/stative."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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