[B-Greek] Deictic Center

Eddie Mishoe edmishoe at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 13 09:42:01 EDT 2007


I believe you are close to understanding the deictic
center. At least I understand it as you've defined it.
As I understand it, once the deictic center is
estblished (and it is established by how all other
events are positioned around it), then the Aorist
tense is used to position itself anterior to the dc,
and the Present contemporaneous to it. We would not
expect this to hold in all instances since
languages/speech doesn't work that way (so some
contend). Porter calls these exceptions (and he
contends there are too many exceptions), while others
contend they are natural expressions within
temporal-based languages (i.e., we see the same
phenomena in English, a temporal-based language). I
did pick up a biography on Nancy Reagan as an
experiment. I found 18 historic presents in one

I just ran across this yesterday and would like
others' response. Although Porter sees several Aorists
in the NT as present referring, McKay, who also does
not believe the Greek grammaticalizes tense, concludes
that there is "no instance of present time refenence"
(Syntax, p 48) with the aorist, and that there is only
one future referring one (Jude 14,15). This I find
remarkable, that McKay contends there is not one
instance of a present reference Aorist tense and yet
contends that the Aorist does not grammaticalize time.
He does see Gnomic expressions using Aorists, but he
does not count those in temporal-based expressions. 

I really had not planned on responding to this post
since I'm not well-trained it this area, but I'm
hoping someone can help me understand why McKay holds
the Greek does not grammaticalize time but contends
that there is not one instance of a Present referring Aorist.

Eddie Mishoe

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