Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Scott Lawson
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Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by Scott Lawson » April 4th, 2012, 11:35 pm

This question springs, of course, from Stephen Carlson's post:

Mark 11:3...ἐίπατε (Aorist Imperative of ἔπω) Ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει, καὶ εὐθὺς αὐτὸν ἀποστέλλει πάλιν ὧδε. Here the Imperative is in the Aorist construction with ἀποστέλλει in the present tense.


Matt. 21:3 ...ἐρεῖτε (Future ἐρῶ) ὅτι Ὁ κύριος αὐτῶν χρείαν ἔχει· εὐθὺς δὲ ἀποστελεῖ αὐτούς. Here the Imperative is in the Future construction and so is ἀποστελεῖ.

Is there is a connection between the use of a verb of saying in the Imperative and the tense of what was commanded to be said? Does the author choose the time/tense of the verb of what is to be said before he chooses the form of the Imperative he will use or vice versa? (Perhaps this is like asking whether a preposition controls the verb or the verb controls the preposition.) Have I correctly identified ἐίπατε as an Aorist Imperative? If so, what would the force of the Aorist be, or is completely nullified in the Imperative?

Scott
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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson
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Re: Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by Scott Lawson » April 8th, 2012, 3:24 pm

Μὴ αποκρίθητε. Λογίζομαι γάρ απόκρισις καὶ ἐλπίζω ἀυτή λεγεῖν ὑμῖν.

I welcome corrections to my Greek though.

Scott
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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson
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Re: Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by Scott Lawson » April 8th, 2012, 8:49 pm

The imperative always implies future time or so says Smyth. Cf. 1864. The tenses, however, only denote Aktionsart. Since it is Aktionsart and not time that is in view in the imperative it would seem to follow that it is not necessarily time that is in view in the presentation of the obeyed command.


John 5:8
‘ᾶρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου καὶ περιπάτε and the obeyed commands follow the SAME tense distinction in verse 9, ‘ῆρε ... και περιεπάτε.

Acts 12:8
...περιβαλοῦ τὸ ἱμάτιόν σου καὶ ἀκολύθει μοι.....ἐχελθὼν ἠκολούθει

I’m not sure how consistent this pattern is or if the same holds true for verbs of saying but it might and seems to in the verses Stephen Carlson brought to our attention:

Mark 11:3...ἐίπατε Ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει, καὶ εὐθὺς αὐτὸν ἀποστέλλει πάλιν ὧδε. The imperfective is in view in both imperative and its fulfillment.


Matt. 21:3 ...ἐρεῖτε (Future ἐρῶ) ὅτι Ὁ κύριος αὐτῶν χρείαν ἔχει• εὐθὺς δὲ ἀποστελεῖ αὐτούς. Here the imperative is in the future construction and so is fulfillment ἀποστελεῖ.

Immediacy is marked in both by εὐθὺς not necessarily by tense.

Scott
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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson
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Re: Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by Scott Lawson » April 11th, 2012, 1:37 am

I guess I haven’t yet answered my question, whether the author chooses the time/tense of the verb of what is to be said before he chooses the form of the Imperative he will use or vice versa.

It seems to me that when giving a command, whether positive or negative, one first has in mind the action demanded of the recipient. And even in English we are more focused on the type of action we want to see occur. Also, with English we are obviously more limited in our choice of imperatives unlike Greek. I like what Robertson says about the difference between English uniformity and Greek variety:

“(κ) Variations in the Use of Tenses. Where so much variety is possible, great freedom is to be expected. In modern English we make a point of uniformity of tense in narrative. The Greeks almost made a point of the opposite. It is jejune, to say no more, to plane down into a dead level the Greek spontaneous variety. Cf…. "When they wished to narrate a fact, or to convey a meaning, there is good ground for holding that they employed the tense appropriate for the purpose, and that they employed it just because of such appropriateness." That is well said. The explanation is chiefly psychological, not mere analogy, which is true of only a few tenses, especially in late Greek...” (Rob. 847)

As a side point, Robertson’s use of psychological contrasted with analogy caused me to wonder if this is an early awareness of what is called “psycholinguistics?”

In speaking about the aorist, Robertson on page 846, makes this comment about ἔρχομαι (πάλιν preceding it) at John 14:3 which to me seems similar to ἀποστέλλει πάλιν at Mark 11:3 :

“It is a vivid transference of the action to the future (like the present ἔρχομαι, Jo. 14:3) by the timeless aorist.”

I’m still trying to divine what Robertson means by “vivid.” He uses the term in other places as well such as pg 866 where under the heading The Historical Present he says, “This vivid idiom is popular in all languages, particularly in the vernacular.” And on page 896 under the heading The Dramatic Historical Present Perfect, “Here an action completed in the past is conceived in terms of the present time for the sake of vividness.” He goes on to speak about vividness, connecting it with emphasis, drama and imagination. So, I wonder if it isn’t for this reason that Mark uses ἀποστέλλει.

I would certainly appreciate comments on my observations. Thanks!
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Scott Lawson

David Lim
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Re: Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by David Lim » April 11th, 2012, 8:02 am

Scott Lawson wrote:Μὴ αποκρίθητε. Λογίζομαι γάρ απόκρισις καὶ ἐλπίζω ἀυτή λεγεῖν ὑμῖν.
συ ειπες μη αποκριθητε ουκ απεκριθημεν ουν σοι ;)
Anyway I think there is no difference between the imperatives in all tenses, whether present, aorist or perfect (Mark 4:39). Any objections?
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Scott Lawson
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Re: Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by Scott Lawson » April 11th, 2012, 8:25 am

Yeah I was afraid that was happening...I didn't want a response until I finished working out an answer.
The only difference in the imperative is Aktionsart. (ingressive or punctiliar aorist or durative imperfect)
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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson
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Re: Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by Scott Lawson » April 11th, 2012, 8:50 am

David Lim wrote:Scott Lawson wrote:
Μὴ αποκρίθητε. Λογίζομαι γάρ απόκρισις καὶ ἐλπίζω ἀυτή λεγεῖν ὑμῖν.
Just as with English, I speak more Greek than I understand! :D
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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson
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Re: Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by Scott Lawson » April 11th, 2012, 10:05 am

Scott Lawson wrote:
David Lim wrote:Scott Lawson wrote:
Μὴ αποκρίθητε. Λογίζομαι γάρ απόκρισις καὶ ἐλπίζω ἀυτή λεγεῖν ὑμῖν.
Just as with English, I speak more Greek than I understand! :D
And there's plenty more self depreciation where that came from! :D
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Scott Lawson

David Lim
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Re: Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by David Lim » April 11th, 2012, 11:28 am

Scott Lawson wrote:Yeah I was afraid that was happening...I didn't want a response until I finished working out an answer.
The only difference in the imperative is Aktionsart. (ingressive or punctiliar aorist or durative imperfect)
From where did you get the idea that there is aspect in the imperative? What is the difference between "ειπατε" and "λεγετε"? What does the perfect imperative in Mark 4:39 mean, if it is any different from a present or aorist imperative? Anyway Funk's Grammar (http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/project/f ... on-56.html) concedes that if any distinction can be determined, it must be identified for each word individually. Also see the use of both present and aorist imperatives together in Matt 3:3, 16:24, 26:38, Luke 23:18, Rom 6:13, 15:11, 1 Pet 2:17... Only the context can determine the meaning of each imperative.
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Scott Lawson
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Re: Verbs of saying in the Imperative

Post by Scott Lawson » April 11th, 2012, 12:43 pm

David,
I am eager to respond but I have one hand stuck down a sewer pipe and won't be able to respond as well as I'd like...but if time is not a factor in non-indicative moods what is? Notice also the sigmatic forms of the aorist imperative lack the augment. See also my reference to Smyth. I thought this would be the least controversial of my statements.

Sent from my Droid phone.
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