Apollonius Dyscolus on Temporal Adverbs and Tense

RandallButh
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Re: Apollonius Dyscolus on Temporal Adverbs and Tense

Post by RandallButh » February 27th, 2014, 10:20 am

this is not reliable since these two systems are independent of each other.
au contraire, independent systems are what is needed in order to provide evidence that is not inherently circular.

The meaning of a word like αὔριον 'tomorrow' can be determined by description and usage. It might then serve diagnostically with verb forms. Do aorist and imperfect indicatives never collate in the same clause with αὔριον? Well, that is an important datum. And a Greek grammarian from 2000 years ago thought so, too.
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MAubrey
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Re: Apollonius Dyscolus on Temporal Adverbs and Tense

Post by MAubrey » February 27th, 2014, 2:02 pm

RandallButh wrote:
this is not reliable since these two systems are independent of each other.
au contraire, independent systems are what is needed in order to provide evidence that is not inherently circular.

The meaning of a word like αὔριον 'tomorrow' can be determined by description and usage. It might then serve diagnostically with verb forms. Do aorist and imperfect indicatives never collate in the same clause with αὔριον? Well, that is an important datum. And a Greek grammarian from 2000 years ago thought so, too.
Indeed. I don't disagree with that. It is only your selective quoting of my words that makes it look like I do.

The neglected portion of what I said:
MAubrey wrote:but the converse would be theoretically and descriptively risky.
Temporal adverbs can certainly be used with great success. But it is precisely because they are an independent system that makes them more complicated and nuanced in approaching the analysis. Their use is risky without explicit controls and evaluation of the entire system of temporal adverbs as a whole.

Rod Decker's monograph/dissertation used temporal adverbs to argue precisely the opposite of what you (and I) hold about tense in Greek precisely because he (in my opinion) made the mistaken of thinking a temporal adverb system should have a one-to-one correlation with the tense system. He then drew the conclusion that because a one-to-one correlation does not exist, tense does not exist.

My point is that the relationship between temporal adverbs and tense system is complicated and needs to be approached with great care in the analysis. That is all.
Ken M. Penner wrote:
MAubrey wrote:it would be an acceptable approach to evaluate the meaning of temporal adverbials on the basis of tense, but the converse would be theoretically and descriptively risky.
Just to clarify in simple English, let me use an example.
Given that we see a correlation of "will do" with "tomorrow" and "did" with "yesterday," are you saying it's okay to use "will do" to tell us what "tomorrow" means and "did" to figure out what "yesterday" means, but it's not okay to use "tomorrow" to figure out what "will do" means and "yesterday" to figure out what "did" means?
No. I'm not talking about particular adverbs, for one. I'm saying that temporal adverbs are not always a reliable guide because they can conflict with tense (see above). Adverbs like "now" are far more fluid, even in English. What I'm trying to emphasize is that something that is self-evident in one language (like English here) is not necessarily self-evident in another language. There are languages where even adverbs like yesterday and tomorrow function independently (e.g. Hindi) of tense (Bhat 1999, 40-42). My initial comment was one about grammatical analysis in relationship to language typology. We cannot rely on adverbials to do the same thing every time, whether that's another language, or even another tense or adverbial.

I hope that's a little more clear...
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Re: Apollonius Dyscolus on Temporal Adverbs and Tense

Post by mwpalmer » March 30th, 2014, 10:13 pm

This has been a fascinating discussion, and I would like to follow up by asking a question. Are any of you aware of related research on the function, placement, types, etc. of Hellenistic Greek adverbs? Do you know of research underway, or of articles or monographs that have been published?
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Micheal W. Palmer

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Re: Apollonius Dyscolus on Temporal Adverbs and Tense

Post by MAubrey » March 31st, 2014, 4:00 pm

I'm not aware of any recent studies...If there is anything, I would doubt that it's on the Hellenistic & Roman Koine. Classical Greek would be more likely.
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Re: Apollonius Dyscolus on Temporal Adverbs and Tense

Post by mwpalmer » March 31st, 2014, 4:25 pm

I'm not aware of any recent studies...If there is anything, I would doubt that it's on the Hellenistic & Roman Koine. Classical Greek would be more likely.
Of course it would be. But one can only hope! :-)

I would love to read any treatment of this topic in Classical Greek as well, but a treatment of the hellenistic period would be even more helpful.
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Re: Apollonius Dyscolus on Temporal Adverbs and Tense

Post by MAubrey » March 31st, 2014, 5:12 pm

Well, there's this volume. But I don't actually know which "particles" it discusses. They may have some adverbs they may not.

Two Studies in Attic Particle Usage: Lysias and Plato

Devine & Stephen's monograph on discontinuous np's also discusses a few adverbs with reference to the structure's interaction with information structure, but it isn't a thorough-going treatment either.

Discontinuous Syntax: Hyperbaton in Greek

Oh wait! There is one for Koine. Rod Decker discusses a a few temporal adverbs in his published dissertation. You might have already seen that, though.
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