aorist indicative with future reference

Biblical Greek morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
Robert Crowe
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Re: aorist indicative with future reference

Post by Robert Crowe » June 28th, 2017, 6:13 am

Clay,

While we may accept this kind of aorist as having an attested status, it seems to have a fuzzy edge to it.

Many of the examples are contained in visions which by their nature have two time-frames––the vision itself is in the past, but its content refers to the future. Mixing the two time-frames could be said to be somewhat arbitrary, introducing on a subjective eschatological viewpoint.

Others, such as Rom 8:30, get their sense from a theological perspective. Theology of course is an important context, but opens the door to perplexing discussions. I, for one, am happy with the B-Greek taboo.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: aorist indicative with future reference

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » June 28th, 2017, 3:17 pm

Robert Crowe wrote:
June 28th, 2017, 6:13 am

While we may accept this kind of aorist as having an attested status, it seems to have a fuzzy edge to it.

Many of the examples are contained in visions which by their nature have two time-frames––the vision itself is in the past, but its content refers to the future. Mixing the two time-frames could be said to be somewhat arbitrary, introducing on a subjective eschatological viewpoint.
Robert,

I agree. That is reason I resist putting a label on it. If we tag something a proleptic aorist we immediately start an argument about which examples are the true proleptic aorist and which are something else. All discussions of that sort are IMO pointless. I am more interested in exploring the notion that authorial choice is a key factor in how the verb forms are employed. That’s one issue where I side with the Hallidayian crowd.

Apocalyptic and prophesy in general provide a wide range of examples where the author frames the temporal aspects of the discourse not as a reflection of some fixed rules but as a set of literary/artistic options. This doesn't mean there are no rules, rather their are numerous ways of telling the story. The author functions within the rules (more or less) that apply to the narrative structure he chooses.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Stirling Bartholomew
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Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: aorist indicative with future reference

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » June 30th, 2017, 3:03 pm

Robert Crowe wrote:
June 28th, 2017, 6:13 am
Clay,

While we may accept this kind of aorist as having an attested status, it seems to have a fuzzy edge to it.
The whole topic has fuzzy edges. This morning I hauled out Dave Mathewson's article[1] on verb aspect and traditional categories. I agree with his critique of traditional labels but don't really understand what sort of solution he is proposing. I put his monograph[2] on the Apocalypse on hold (ILL) yesterday. I know this has been discussed here before but I think its worth taking another look at it.


[1] Rethinking Greek Verb Tenses in Light of Verbal Aspect: How MuchDo Our Modern Labels Really Help Us? Dave Mathewson, Gordon College Spring, 2006
https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hi ... 6html2.doc

[2]
Title: Verbal Aspect in the Book of Revelation
Author: David Mathewson
ISBN: 9004186689
Publisher: Brill
Year Published: 2010
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Robert Crowe
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Location: Northern Ireland

Re: aorist indicative with future reference

Post by Robert Crowe » July 1st, 2017, 3:08 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
June 30th, 2017, 3:03 pm
The whole topic has fuzzy edges. This morning I hauled out Dave Mathewson's article[1] on verb aspect and traditional categories. I agree with his critique of traditional labels but don't really understand what sort of solution he is proposing.
I think the problem is that traditional grammars have tended to opt for one label, whereas in many instances there is a variety of options.

Recently I breakfasted with a gent who studies the NT, but only in English. He said he avoids the Greek on the hearsay it is ambiguous. The rationale appears to be that God spoke vaguely in Greek and then invented English to speak more clearly. However there is much to be said in praise of ambiguity. A morsel:
The ambiguities of language, both in terms of vocabulary and syntax, are fascinating: how important connotation is, what is lost and what is gained in the linguistic transition.

[Marylin Hacker]

In consequence there are as many GNTs as there are readings of it, and always something new.

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
June 30th, 2017, 3:03 pm
Rethinking Greek Verb Tenses in Light of Verbal Aspect: How MuchDo Our Modern Labels Really Help Us? Dave Mathewson, Gordon College Spring, 2006
https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hi ... 6html2.doc
Mathewson thinks the categories of traditional grammars should be abandoned as descriptive of Greek tenses:
I will suggest that we abandon such labels in our study and teaching of NT Greek as descriptive of Greek tenses.
[p.2]

This is fair, since a tense only encodes aspect, mood, voice, and number.

But he doesn't dismiss the categories entirely.
I would suggest that such categories if included at all should be discussed under verbs as part of the verbal complex.
[p.33]

By which I think he means verbal lexical meaning + adjuncts + context.

The main aim of his discussion is to promote the new understanding and importance of aspect. He takes exception to grammarians such as Fanning and Wallace who are of the view that aspect can be affected by the verbal complex.

With aspect newly enfranchised, he describes how it signals the levels of prominence in a discourse. The aorist aspect corresponds with background, the present with foreground, and the perfect with frontground.

I don't see in this any reason why students should rue their study of categories per se.
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Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: aorist indicative with future reference

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » July 3rd, 2017, 11:24 am

Robert,

I think Mathewson's framework is perhaps more S.E. Porter than mine is. I don't really follow Porter but I do find some useful insights from Halliday, particularly the work of Halliday and Hasan Cohesion in English 1976. I tried to run with Porter and Reed for about a decade in the 90s but gave up on it.

My concern about categories has to do with semantic theory. I use an onion metaphor. Verb aspect is one layer of the onion. Wallace and all of the old grammars want to load verb aspect marking down with multiple layers of the semantic onion. For example the inceptive, iterative, gnomic, all these categories of the aorist are layers of the onion that are not properly marked by the aorist morphology. They are coloring that is contributed by the meaning of the verb itself plus co-text and context.

A white car parked on the beach at sunset is still a white car even though it takes on a rosy tint in the last half hour of the sunlight. The rosy tint is a not a characteristic of the car anymore than gnomic is a property of the aorist.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

Robert Crowe
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Joined: January 8th, 2016, 11:06 am
Location: Northern Ireland

Re: aorist indicative with future reference

Post by Robert Crowe » July 5th, 2017, 10:40 am

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
July 3rd, 2017, 11:24 am
A white car parked on the beach at sunset is still a white car even though it takes on a rosy tint in the last half hour of the sunlight. The rosy tint is a not a characteristic of the car anymore than gnomic is a property of the aorist.
A good analogy. I would say 'beautiful' but for my dislike of cars.

I think traditional grammars can be studied profitably given a few accommodations.
  • A pragmatic label on a verb should be understood to refer to the verbal complex.
  • Some such labels refer to the idiomatic use of the tense in Greek. In English we talk about a gnomic saying. The gnomic aorist is a neat way of labelling a Greek distinction in tense.
  • Statements referring to an affected aspect should be ignored in light of our new understanding.
A big plus with Wallace's Grammar is its superb presentation and clarity.
Tús maith leath na hoibre.

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