Re: 'default' aorist

Somi Chuhon (
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 15:05:11 -0700

At 10:38 AM 10/24/96 -0400, you wrote:

>I agree that it is sometimes difficult to figure out how the category
>of aspect fits into interpretation. It helps if you recognize
>"default" as a linguistic term of art (going back to the Prague
>School, at least, in the early part of this centurey) for "unmarked".
>THat is, the aorist, Porter argues, is the form used when one doesn't
>want to say anything "marked", i.e. special.

My concern here is if we are able to say that the aorist tense is NOT saying
anything special. By attributing the name, "default" or "unmarked," could
we possibly be downplaying a possible exegetical significance to the aorist
tense. I understand that in the past there was probably too much emphasis
placed on the sematic significance of the aoritst. Yet, as a reaction to
it, could this "fresh" way of denoting the aorist actually be eliminating
its exegetical contribution to the task of interpretation? This is more of
what I am concerned about.