Verbal Aspect

05 May 96 11:22:02 EDT

I am currently writing a paper applying Porter's theses on verbal aspect to
portions of Luke's gospel and wondering if anyone can help me.

I have followed Porter's arguments through to the JSNTSS 80 _Biblical Greek
Language & Linguistics - Open Questions in Current Research_ which summarises
the 1990-1991 SBL discussions. I have read his _Idioms_ and Fanning's
dissertation as well. However I cannot track down any further discussions since
this time. Does anyone know if the debate has fizzled out or is their something
more recent lurking out there?

I am particularly looking at his views on the interrelation of tense forms
within units and stories i.e. his views on markedness. It seems to me that it is
a very interesting exercise to look at how one tense may be used throughout a
unit for one issue. e.g. Answering Ken Litwak's earlier question on the
Magnificat I noticed that the aorist tense is used for God's actions and the
present for human responses. Is this coincidental or meaningful? I am not sure

It seems to me that aspect and markedness are not always compatible - why should
states always be more marked, why should for instance things written in the
prophets 'gegraptai' always be marked? And what does Porter *really* mean by
'marked' in a pragmatic way? Certainly emphasis has something to do with it, but
it is clearly more sophisticated than this. At times he seems to mean one thing
and then another e.g. the marked item can be a head term, but it can also be the
elements under the head term.

If anyone has any suggestions please e-mail me.
Thank you

Elizabeth Harper
Kiwi in Trinity
Trinity College, Bristol, U.K.