inceptive present forms?

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From: Mari Olsen <molsen@astrid.ling.nwu.edu>
Message-Id: <9312122206.AA13418@astrid.ling.nwu.edu>
Subject: inceptive present forms?
To: nt-greek-request@virginia.edu
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 93 16:06:19 CST
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Several grammars attest an inceptive interpretation for the imperfect,

(1)	Tote afijsin auton ho diabolos, kai idou aggeloi
prosjlthon kai dijkonoun autwi (Mt 4.11)
then leaves him the devil, and behold angels were-ministering ('began
ministering') to-him
(2)	ekallomenos estj kai periepatei (Ac 3:8)
having-leaped-up he-stood and was-walking ('began walking')

Fanning 1990 says the interpretation is also available for other
forms, e.g. the aorist of states, but that a "durative" situation is
required.  In my thesis, I claim that imperfective aspect asserts just
that:  that a situation denoted by a verb persists at some reference
time, past in the case of the imperfect forms.  One would expect,
therefore, that the present (which is also imperfective, according to
Fanning 1990, Porter 1989 and me  ;-)  ) would therefore also permit
an inceptive reading, in the right context (e.g. a sentential particle
like 'idou', or an aorist participle, as in (2) ), but I find no
description of such in the literature.  Does anyone know (i) if it is
attested in some grammar, or (ii) examples thereof?

Thanks again,

Mari Broman Olsen
Northwestern University
Department of Linguistics
2016 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208