Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Exploring Albert Rijksbaron's book, The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek: An Introduction, to see how it would need to be adapted for Koine Greek. Much of the focus will be on finding Koine examples to illustrate the same points Rijksbaron illustrates with Classical examples, and places where Koine Greek diverges from Classical Greek.
Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » August 15th, 2019, 10:22 am

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 2:07 am
Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 7:05 pm
There was a time roughly 20 years ago when I thought aspect was comprehensible. Recent discussion doesn't support that hypothesis.
What in this thread makes you feel so? After all, we are talking about tense, not aspect.

The introduction of terminology and concepts that are not formerly part of the discussion. Interaction with authors who seem to be inventing as they go along cherry picking bits and pieces from multiple authors who are not even using the same basic framework. So it all looks like a collage pasted together from cutouts of cubists and surrealists. In short, a mess.

Also, there seems to be a lot comments that boil down to "this guy is just wrong" which doesen't really count as an argument. I recall painfully following a discussion of aspect on B-Hebrew decades ago which was full of statements like that. It was ugly.
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MAubrey
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by MAubrey » August 15th, 2019, 9:43 pm

Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 10:22 am
The introduction of terminology and concepts that are not formerly part of the discussion. Interaction with authors who seem to be inventing as they go along cherry picking bits and pieces from multiple authors who are not even using the same basic framework. So it all looks like a collage pasted together from cutouts of cubists and surrealists. In short, a mess.

Also, there seems to be a lot comments that boil down to "this guy is just wrong" which doesen't really count as an argument. I recall painfully following a discussion of aspect on B-Hebrew decades ago which was full of statements like that. It was ugly.
That's fascinating. I can't say I relate.

But then, maybe you think I'm a Cubist, so who knows!
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Daniel Semler
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Daniel Semler » August 15th, 2019, 10:20 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 5:29 pm
After reading chapter 23 "Tenselessness" by Jo-Wang Lin in The Oxford Handbook of Tense And Aspect (ed. Binnick)
How do you find TOHOTAA ? It looks interesting. How do you think one with relatively light background (well almost none and self taught :) ) in linguistics would get on with it ?

I also wonder if there are other ways of handling time in language, apart from tense and aspect ?

Thx
D
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » August 16th, 2019, 2:08 am

Daniel Semler wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 10:20 pm
How do you find TOHOTAA ? It looks interesting. How do you think one with relatively light background (well almost none and self taught :) ) in linguistics would get on with it ?
I have a University library loan. They don't teach advanced linguistics so nobody else needs it and have had it for couple of years already...

There's of course much which you (or I) can't handle but because it's a handbook you'll find easier articles, too, and naturally none of the articles are really advanced. I haven't read Binnick's older book about tense and aspect, but it would probably cover some basics. Also reading introductory semantics etc. helps.
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 16th, 2019, 11:16 am

MAubrey wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 9:43 pm

That's fascinating. I can't say I relate.

But then, maybe you think I'm a Cubist, so who knows!
I've always imagined you more as a dodecahedron -- oh, you said cubist, not cube. I have also seen a number of comments from people writing in the field about lack of consistent terminology. As for argument by assertion, I haven't seen that much in published articles, but occasionally in fora like this one.

Mike, over on textkit I posted a link to your review of the Cambridge grammar. That there are people who advocate for an aspect only view of Greek verbs only confirmed to them that NT scholarship is bonkers, or at least the people who practice it. I found it hard to disagree... :)
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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Nelson » August 16th, 2019, 5:53 pm

I'm answering my own question with information I found in "A Greek Verb Revisited", which I should have finished reading before starting this discussion :lol:

Here is what Peter J. Gentry says in his article (Chapter 11, Pg. 359), "The Function of the Augment in Hellenistic Greek", citing "The Evolution of Grammar: Tense, Aspect, and Modality in the Languages of the World", by Joan Bybee, Revere Perkins, and William Pagliuca
Cross-linguistically then, the path of development is that first the particle (the syllabic augment) had a spatial meaning, then later a temporal meaning, and finally became bleached semantically and grammaticalized as a marker of past tense. By the Homeric period the spatial meaning has already entirely given way to a temporal meaning, and by the Attic period the particle is grammaticalized simply as a marker of past tense. One cannot have both the spatial and temporal meaning at the same linguistic stage.
This answers my question about Cambell's statement (below), but still leaves me scratching my head; since Campbell comes to the exact opposite conclusion - asserting that Hellenstic Greek was still in its "spatial" phase of development (if I understand him correctly).
Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 2:53 pm
In the end of Campbell's book, he seems to draw the comparison in reference to a study on Aboriginal Australian languages. But I'm not sure how that's relevant...

He also states the following in regards to the supposed trend of languages to transition from "a spacial way of thinking to a temporal way of thinking":
Such is the case with Greek. Most scholars would agree that the verbal system of Greek was originally spatial, back in its earliest stages of development. And, of course, the Greek verbal system is now temporal - Modern Greek has tenses. The question, however, is this: When did the verbal system cease to be primarily spatial and develop its temporal characteristics? While most scholars see the verbal system as consisting of tenses as early as Homeric Greek, and certainly by the time of Attic Greek, I have argued that the verbal system is still primarily spatial at this time and indeed continues to be so through the Koine period.

There is, nevertheless, evidence that the development from spatial to temporal meaning is taking place by this time. For example, the existence of the future tense-form, which is a real tense, is the first verb form that has a consistent temporal reference. It is a genuine tense, with its core meaning concerned with the expression of time. The existence of a real tense alongside other verb forms that are not regarded as tenses at the semantic level does not constitute a problem for my analysis, nor is it inconsistent. It is no accident that the only real tense within the indicative mood is also the last of the ancient tense-forms to develop. It is thus evidence that the shift from spatial to temporal encoding is taking place in the diachronic development of the language. Eventually, the entire indicative system will consist of tenses, and the future tense is the first exponent of this situation.
There doesn't seem to be a citation for the above. Is this baseless speculation? Is it question-begging conjecture? If the invention of the future tense-form marks the beginning of the transition from spacial to temporal reference, and Modern Greek marks the end point as being fully temporal (even though Modern Greek is largely aspectual), how would he determine that further development of tense in the indicative mood (i.e. in the aorist indicative) only made headway AFTER the Hellenistic period?

I assume that when someone throws around the phrase, "Most scholars believe X...", the name(s) of at least one or two scholars could be tracked down to shore up the position. I'd really like to read some more on this diachronic development of tense in Greek. But I'm kind of stuck without a citation or bibliography in Campbell's book.
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Daniel Semler » August 16th, 2019, 6:35 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 5:53 pm
I'm answering my own question with information I found in "A Greek Verb Revisited", which I should have finished reading before starting this discussion :lol:

Here is what Peter J. Gentry says in his article (Chapter 11, Pg. 359), "The Function of the Augment in Hellenistic Greek", citing "The Evolution of Grammar: Tense, Aspect, and Modality in the Languages of the World", by Joan Bybee, Revere Perkins, and William Pagliuca
Cross-linguistically then, the path of development is that first the particle (the syllabic augment) had a spatial meaning, then later a temporal meaning, and finally became bleached semantically and grammaticalized as a marker of past tense. By the Homeric period the spatial meaning has already entirely given way to a temporal meaning, and by the Attic period the particle is grammaticalized simply as a marker of past tense. One cannot have both the spatial and temporal meaning at the same linguistic stage.
As far as I can tell a language feature doesn't switch immediately from one thing to another very often, though I'm no expert of any kind. I would expect periods of overlap, ascendency and dominance etc. So I'm suspicious of the last sentence here. But even imagining for a moment that such a hard switchover did occur, I have a question:

Can someone succintly define what spacial meaning is for a verb ?

Thx
D
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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Nelson » August 16th, 2019, 6:52 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 5:53 pm
I'm answering my own question with information I found in "A Greek Verb Revisited", which I should have finished reading before starting this discussion :lol:

Here is what Peter J. Gentry says in his article (Chapter 11, Pg. 359), "The Function of the Augment in Hellenistic Greek", citing "The Evolution of Grammar: Tense, Aspect, and Modality in the Languages of the World", by Joan Bybee, Revere Perkins, and William Pagliuca
Cross-linguistically then, the path of development is that first the particle (the syllabic augment) had a spatial meaning, then later a temporal meaning, and finally became bleached semantically and grammaticalized as a marker of past tense. By the Homeric period the spatial meaning has already entirely given way to a temporal meaning, and by the Attic period the particle is grammaticalized simply as a marker of past tense. One cannot have both the spatial and temporal meaning at the same linguistic stage.
[...] (skipping to page 372)
Campbell argues that the augment is a morpheme marking spatial reference. This is a possible proposal, but not a plausible interpretation of the actual data. The early evidence for development of the future tense and augment does not fit his ideas well.
The exceptional patterns of verbal usage which provide the basis for Porter's theory are better taken as fossilized survivals of an older aspectual structure overlaid by the growing importance of temporal reference. Certainly Porter does not offer a view that comprehensively accounts for development and history of the Greek language as a whole.
Gentry goes on to critique Porter's tense-less position, which is fairly convincing to me.

This answers my question about Cambell's statement (below), but still leaves me scratching my head; since Campbell comes to the exact opposite conclusion - asserting that Hellenstic Greek was still in its "spatial" phase of development (if I understand him correctly).
Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 2:53 pm
In the end of Campbell's book, he seems to draw the comparison in reference to a study on Aboriginal Australian languages. But I'm not sure how that's relevant...

He also states the following in regards to the supposed trend of languages to transition from "a spacial way of thinking to a temporal way of thinking":
Such is the case with Greek. Most scholars would agree that the verbal system of Greek was originally spatial, back in its earliest stages of development. And, of course, the Greek verbal system is now temporal - Modern Greek has tenses. The question, however, is this: When did the verbal system cease to be primarily spatial and develop its temporal characteristics? While most scholars see the verbal system as consisting of tenses as early as Homeric Greek, and certainly by the time of Attic Greek, I have argued that the verbal system is still primarily spatial at this time and indeed continues to be so through the Koine period.

There is, nevertheless, evidence that the development from spatial to temporal meaning is taking place by this time. For example, the existence of the future tense-form, which is a real tense, is the first verb form that has a consistent temporal reference. It is a genuine tense, with its core meaning concerned with the expression of time. The existence of a real tense alongside other verb forms that are not regarded as tenses at the semantic level does not constitute a problem for my analysis, nor is it inconsistent. It is no accident that the only real tense within the indicative mood is also the last of the ancient tense-forms to develop. It is thus evidence that the shift from spatial to temporal encoding is taking place in the diachronic development of the language. Eventually, the entire indicative system will consist of tenses, and the future tense is the first exponent of this situation.
There doesn't seem to be a citation for the above. Is this baseless speculation? Is it question-begging conjecture? If the invention of the future tense-form marks the beginning of the transition from spacial to temporal reference, and Modern Greek marks the end point as being fully temporal (even though Modern Greek is largely aspectual), how would he determine that further development of tense in the indicative mood (i.e. in the aorist indicative) only made headway AFTER the Hellenistic period?

I assume that when someone throws around the phrase, "Most scholars believe X...", the name(s) of at least one or two scholars could be tracked down to shore up the position. I'd really like to read some more on this diachronic development of tense in Greek. But I'm kind of stuck without a citation or bibliography in Campbell's book.
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Nelson » August 16th, 2019, 7:00 pm

Daniel Semler wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 6:35 pm
Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 5:53 pm
Cross-linguistically then, the path of development is that first the particle (the syllabic augment) had a spatial meaning, then later a temporal meaning, and finally became bleached semantically and grammaticalized as a marker of past tense. By the Homeric period the spatial meaning has already entirely given way to a temporal meaning, and by the Attic period the particle is grammaticalized simply as a marker of past tense. One cannot have both the spatial and temporal meaning at the same linguistic stage.
As far as I can tell a language feature doesn't switch immediately from one thing to another very often, though I'm no expert of any kind. I would expect periods of overlap, ascendency and dominance etc. So I'm suspicious of the last sentence here. But even imagining for a moment that such a hard switchover did occur, I have a question:

Can someone succintly define what spacial meaning is for a verb ?

Thx
D
If you have access to Gentry's full article (in "The Greek Verb Revisited") I think he gives a pretty good explanation. Namely, he explains how the "deictic force" of the *é augment (adverbial prefix) was originally that of "distance"; as evidenced in the artifacts ἐ-κεῖνος and ἐ-χθές - indicating remoteness.
The history is that an adverb with locative semantic value (there) developed into a temporal semantic value (then). [...] the locative rather than the temporal meaning usually undergoes erosion...
That precedes the quote I gave. Maybe it gives better context. Or maybe you're already familiar with this material and you're asking for a meta-analysis that perhaps other people on this forum are more qualified to give :D
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Daniel Semler
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Daniel Semler » August 16th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 7:00 pm
Daniel Semler wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 6:35 pm
Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 5:53 pm
As far as I can tell a language feature doesn't switch immediately from one thing to another very often, though I'm no expert of any kind. I would expect periods of overlap, ascendency and dominance etc. So I'm suspicious of the last sentence here. But even imagining for a moment that such a hard switchover did occur, I have a question:

Can someone succintly define what spacial meaning is for a verb ?

Thx
D
If you have access to Gentry's full article (in "The Greek Verb Revisited") I think he gives a pretty good explanation. Namely, he explains how the "deictic force" of the *é augment (adverbial prefix) was originally that of "distance"; as evidenced in the artifacts ἐ-κεῖνος and ἐ-χθές - indicating remoteness.
The history is that an adverb with locative semantic value (there) developed into a temporal semantic value (then). [...] the locative rather than the temporal meaning usually undergoes erosion...
That precedes the quote I gave. Maybe it gives better context. Or maybe you're already familiar with this material and you're asking for a meta-analysis that perhaps other people on this forum are more qualified to give :D
No, my question is very simple. As an example, how is "I threw the ball" spatial ? I can understand that having the thrown the ball it is now remote from me. But the action itself was at the time very close to me indeed - my arm did it while attached to the rest of me. So how is a verbal action, completed, in progress or prospective spatially near or remote ? I get that additional phrases and so on could describe an action occurring remotely from, or near to, me, but I don't think that's what is meant here is it ?

I can accept that should such a concept exist and be useful in language that some morpheme might bear that load but my question is in some sense before that point.

Thx
D
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