[B-Greek] Can the Imperfect not be Continuous? (ELEGEN)

Daniel Buck bucksburg at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 15 15:19:49 EST 2010

Anyone who spends time listening to teenage girls converse is familiar with this 
phenomenon in English, the semi-transitive limited-declination past-tense usage 
of 'go':

So right about then I'm talking to my friend, right? And she goes, "Look, I'm 
telling you--just say yes!"
Then I go, "But--oh, how do I put it? He's, like, SO weird!"

Daniel Buck

From: Richard Lindeman <oblchurch at msn.com>
To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Tue, December 14, 2010 5:42:55 PM
Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Can the Imperfect not be Continuous?

I am not comfortable with the category "instantaneous imperfect" either. It
sounds like a contradiction in terms.  It may very well be as Dr. Runge
indicates, that the speech being introduced is incomplete and that the
imperfect is therefore connecting a series of statements together.

But there is also another possibility. Imperfect may not be communicating
"ongoing" or "incomplete".  At times I think that imperfect simply takes one
up close and into the ongoing action... Or in the case of speech brings the
reader up close and into the actual conversation.

Rich Lindeman


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