[B-Greek] Fwd: Time, Aspect & Aktionsart

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Wed May 13 10:05:12 EDT 2009

> For those of you that are in agreement that time(both relative and non relative
> time) is encoded in the Greek verbal tense forms I have a question...
> Is there basic agreement that time comes promirily as the byproduct of verbal
> spect rather than as a separate and independent element of tense?
> And if the answer to that question is yes, then a second question I have is this...
> What affect if any does verbal aktionsart have upon time when it interacts with
> verbal aspect?
> Rich Lindeman

The best start of an answer to that question would be the third
chapter of Buist Fanning's book on Verbal Aspect (1990).
And he understands that Greek verbs have time in the indicative.

Questions of 'byproduct' versus 'independent' may not be very
productive because
they go into the mists of a proto-language etymology and don't really
mean anytthing
because the complete system of a proto-language and how it really functioned
is rarely visible. So that language historians may end up arguing etymology and
not complete, enclosed, functioning systems.

In creole languages and child development aspect is usually grammaticalized
before time, but if time isn't grammaticized separately then the forms
cover both
tense and aspect, so the questions become moot. See Bickerton, Roots of
Language, 1981?, for a classic work on this.

Greek, not the proto-language, has "independent" forms for tense and aspect,
though the tense forms come bound with aspect, maybe even with the future
which some take as "+future+perfective".

AS to what happens with verbs of different semantic class, i.e., with different
+/- duration, +/- goal,
see the chapter by FAnning, it's
the best place to start.

Randall Buth

Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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