[B-Greek] Deictic Center

Delbert Flora delbert.flora at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 12 16:08:30 EDT 2007


I’ve tried to follow some threads in the archives on the deictic center (dc) 
concept. I was wondering if the following is correct, and if so, is this 
controversial or generally accepted even among traditional grammarians. By 
'accepted' I don't mean that this is their preferred method of teaching it, 
but that they would not disagree on linguistic grounds.

The dc is the state/event/action/person/place/etc. temporally positioned in 
the passage and can be established in the past, present, or future, but is 
generally the time of writing. The time (temporal) of writing would be the 
default dc unless the writer positions the dc in the past or future.

I’ve pick a passage in Mark 6.48 to ask my question.

KAI IDWN AUTOUS BASANIZOMENOUS EN TWi ELAUNEIN HN GAR hO ANEMOS ENANTIOS 
AUTOIS PERI TETARTHN FULAKHN THS NUKTOS ERCETAI PROS AUTOUS PERIPATWN EPI 
THS QALASSHS KAI HQELEN PARELQEIN AUTOUS

The dc is set up to be PERI TETARTHN FULAKHN THS NUKTOS. The present tense 
ERCETAI is used since it would be present time or contemporaneous in 
relation to this dc (fourth watch).

I’m sure there are many other factors that can enter this discussion, but my 
question is: do I understand the dc correctly in Mark 6.48?

And lastly, if we keep the dc as the time of writing, would this present 
tense verb ERCETAI in Mark 6.46 then be called a historic present?

By all means please feel free to correct my understanding.

Kindly,
Delbert Flora

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