RE: tense & aspect / action & states of being
Sat, 7 Sep 1996 11:24:18 -0700 (PDT)

Typically, I'm a little behind on my e-mail so my apologies for any redun-
dancy. I've seen these kinds of arguments about eliminating the time ele-
ment, ignoring the aorist augment etc. before and I think they are well-
meaning but misguided attempts to balance out the misleading emphasis on
time implied by the word "tense" itself. To put it another way, the baby
(legitimate ideas of time and other factors in the Greek verb system) is
being thrown out with the wash water (the idea that "tense" always includes
time). I'm afraid what we wind up with is a kind of voodoo grammar that is
fun because it allows new and exciting (but incorrect) interpretations based
almost entirely on context. To use one more analogy, we may be worried aoubt
(about) not seeing the forest for the trees, but we end up not being able to
see the forest at all because there are no more trees. I would plead for the
golden mean, acknowledging the truth of aspect where it is true and that of
time and all the other details of the verb system where they are true.

Don Wilkins
UC Riverside