Re: verbal aspect and conditions

Gary Collier asked:

>  Just curious as to your 
> evaluation of the difference between Porter and Fanning the force of
> various "conditional" sentences.  (Pulling from memory here, so 
> correct me) Porter sees no difference between the force of 1st and
> 3rd class conditions (ei + indicative vs. ean + subjunctive).
> Eg. in 1 Cor 7, Paul vacilates between these two classes.  Paying 
> attention to these differences, one could posit that especially the
> 1st class conditions reflect a "real case" -- someone has at least
> made a charge here ("the unmarried are continually getting involved
> in imoral situations!") -- so Paul says, "If such a charge is true,
> get married!"  Soooo, for Porter, such differences are stylistic,
> not substantive, and no such reading as I just gave is legitimate.
Well, the short answer to a well-put questionis that I don't deal with
a comparison in the conditionals, since I limit myself to the
indicative forms in my thesis.  I do disagree with Porter's treatment
of the conditionals as 'timeless', since I do see the temporal force
of the true semantic tense forms persisting in the conditionals.  

I would like to look more at the affect of aspect on such sentences in
other languages, in order to see whether there is cross-linguistic
justification for such as distinction between the imperfective and the
perfective, or whether the differences may rather be attributed to
contextual knowledge independent of the verb forms.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has had the opportunity to
compare Porter and Fanning on these...

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