Verbal aspect pardigm shift

rod.j.decker@uwrf.edu (Rodney J. Decker) writes:

>I realize that accepting either Porter or Fanning's proposals 
>constitutes a paradigm shift in Greek grammar--perhaps comparable 
>to the shift that came with the work of Deissmann, Moulton, etc. 
>on the papyri. (Maybe I'm overestimating the significance, but I 
>don't think so.)

     Yes, it does seem they are proposing quite a paradigm shift.  Just a
couple of observations: *First*, Deissmann's and Moulton's work, and the
changes in understanding of Greek that they proposed were based on new
information about Koine Greek that came from the papyri and inscriptions.  In
the present case there is no new info, but simply a new way of understanding
the data we already have.  Computer analysis of texts, however, has made it
easier for our generation of scholars to get solid answers to questions about
which earlier generations could only surmise.  This new capacity could
perhaps justify some new conclusions with far-reaching implications.
 *Second*, the paradigm shift of the early part of this century (?) from the
eight-case system to the five-case system was a shift from function
(functionally there are about eight cases) to form.  With what Porter and
Fanning are proposing the pendulum of change seems to be swinging back away
from form to the function end of the spectrum.  With Porter's wanting to
jettison all grammatization of time reference, I wonder if he's not proposing
that the pendulum swing back too far.  

     I appreciate the valuable bibliographic references.  I'll do what I can
to look into them and get more up to date on this matter.

David L. Moore