Re: Aspect: discourse function (Mk.2)

Rod, I'll want to check over the entire section before I have any further 
comment, but one thing strikes me right away, and that is the use of the 
perfect tense in "hina eidhte": I would question whether this is a 
perfect tense other than in terms of the verb's ancient (even pre-) 
history. For all practical purposes it is a present tense. Now here we 
get into some territory with which I am less familiar because I don't 
really know the literature on Hellenistic usage of the aspects apart from 
what you have yourself been reporting on this list. But there are other 
verbs like this also, e.g. "eoika" (very common in Plato, but it appears 
that the only NT usage is 3sg "eoiken" in James 1.6 and 1.23, the two 
instances in different senses. Additional classical verbs not found in NT 
are "deidia" and "dedoika" 2nd and 2st perfect respectively of a verb 
lacking a present tense; although "oida" is SAID to be the perfect tense 
of "horaw," of course it isn't really. These are all verbs with present 
sense. The textbook out of which I teach Beginning Attic (READING GREEK) 
even calls "oida" a present tense, which I would not quite do. Somewhat 
different is the verb "histEmi", "histamai" (sorry to be inconsistent in 
my transliteration of ETA), where the present middle does have a truly 
present sense--"I am coming to a stand, I am standing up," the perfect 
tense form hestEka has what is really a present aspect, does it not? "I 
am standing"--as the pluperfect form "heistEkein" has an imperfect sense: 
"I was standing." Is this an anomaly to the analysis of aspect. Certainly 
no one would, except when referring to an act of arising prior to some 
point in the past, translate "heistEkein" as "I had stood up."

I am quite frankly puzzled here; it seems to me that these forms ought to 
be described and analyzed in terms of their semantic function rather than 
their morphological form and that their aspect is properly described as 
"present." What do the aspect-experts say about such verb forms. Frankly, 
I really don't know whether this has any real bearing on your analysis of 
the pericope of the paralytic.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com