Re: Perfect tense and aspect
Carl W. Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thu, 5 Sep 1996 10:13:10 -0500
At 9:33 AM -0500 9/5/96, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>I think that the homework and oak examples are helpful. I like to try
>from what I've learned to see if I have grasped the point. Consider John 20:1:
>KAI BLEPEI TON LIQON HRMENON EK TOU MNHMEIOU
>"and sees the stone removed from the tomb"
>I assume that the perfect for HRMENON emphasizes the current state:
>the tomb is open; the stone no longer seals it. If the writer had wanted to
>vividly display the process of the stone moving, he would have used present or
>imperfect; if the writer had wanted to emphasize the act of moving the
>a whole, he would have used aorist.
>Is this accurate?
This is right, but one could go a little bit further and note that, with a
verb of seeing or perceiving (hear, AKOUW, sometimes take this same
construction), an accusative plus participle quite regularly functions as
an indirect statement BDF##416). Thus, although "and he sees the stone
removed from the tomb" is a reasonable translation of the Greek, the still
more precise representation of the MEANING of the Greek is "and he sees
THAT the stone HAS BEEN removed from the tomb"--it's equivalent to KAI
BLEPEI hOTI HRTAI EK TOU MNHMEIOU hO LIQOS.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org