Re: Re[2]: John 8:58

> It bears repeating that the Greek present tense covers territory that 
> includes the English perfect (simple) and perfect progressive.
In fact, a true "present" tense (one which conveys only present time
meaning, and no other time--e.g. no "historical present" or
omnitemporal uses--and no other aspectual notions) is rare, if not
non- existent in the languages of the world.  In O"sten Dahl's survey
of the tense-mood-aspect systems of 64 languages, from a wide range of
families and geographic areas, NONE is listed.  What is normally
referred to as a present tense in grammars appears to receive present
reference by default:  it is not marked past or future, therefore, by
Gricean maxim, it is assumed to have present reference unless context
(e.g. historical narrative) indicates otherwise.

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