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.
Stephen Nelson
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Nelson » August 16th, 2019, 8:25 pm

Daniel Semler wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 7:12 pm
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
It's likely problematic trying to conceptualize this using English examples. The ablaut in the irregular verb "throw" (throw > threw) isn't comparable to the use of Greek's syllabic augment. And the past tense marker '-ed' is a later development in English.

Languages like archaic Greek and Sanskrit are much quite closer to PIE, so they provide a much better basis for analysis than Modern English, assuming that these diachronic theories of language development from PIE are sound.

I'll just keep quoting from this source, in case you don't have access to it:

Pg. 355, Ibid.
Originally an adverb, *é, or better *hie-, meaning "yonder, there>> at that time, then," the augment could be prefixed to a verb along with other adverbial prefixes, although it had to be prefixed to the primary stem first and so come between the primary stem and other adverbial prefixes.
And even though this doesn't have much to do with tense/aspect, Greek does employ an elaborate system of adding prepositional (spacial) prefixes to its verbs (ἀνα-, κατα-, etc).

Russian (the so-called "aspectual language par excellence") does the same thing with prepositional prefixes as Greek. But the verbs behave differently when prefixes are added to the imperfective (base) form of a verb (which is present tense). It changes the aspect to perfective, thus pushing the temporal reference into the future. Such prefixed verbs must adopt an imperfective suffix in order to center them back in the present tense.
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Daniel Semler
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Daniel Semler » August 16th, 2019, 8:40 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 8:25 pm
It's likely problematic trying to conceptualize this using English examples. The ablaut in the irregular verb "throw" (throw > threw) isn't comparable to the use of Greek's syllabic augment. And the past tense marker '-ed' is a later development in English.

Languages like archaic Greek and Sanskrit are much quite closer to PIE, so they provide a much better basis for analysis than Modern English, assuming that these diachronic theories of language development from PIE are sound.

I'll just keep quoting from this source, in case you don't have access to it:

Pg. 355, Ibid.
I accept that a particular serialization such as English may not provide support for the concept in its verbal conjugation but is the concept of spatial locality of a verb inexpressable in English in any way ? Maybe it is. If so that will make it hard to explain but I assume that adjuncts of one kind or another can carry it.
Originally an adverb, *é, or better *hie-, meaning "yonder, there>> at that time, then," the augment could be prefixed to a verb along with other adverbial prefixes, although it had to be prefixed to the primary stem first and so come between the primary stem and other adverbial prefixes.
That said, this quote may slowly be getting closer to the point. If "yonder, there" are spatial (which I'm happy to accept) and that the meaning of them is carried by an augment/prefix/suffix what have you, is the concept we are trying to represent here then something like this. I'll serialize in a weird English to try to get the concept - correct as needed. If I say "I [spatial augment for yonder]throw the ball" do I mean, I threw the ball and I was/am/will be over there (yonder) when I did/do/will do it ?

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

Post by Stephen Nelson » August 17th, 2019, 12:28 am

Daniel Semler wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 8:40 pm

That said, this quote may slowly be getting closer to the point. If "yonder, there" are spatial (which I'm happy to accept) and that the meaning of them is carried by an augment/prefix/suffix what have you, is the concept we are trying to represent here then something like this. I'll serialize in a weird English to try to get the concept - correct as needed. If I say "I [spatial augment for yonder]throw the ball" do I mean, I threw the ball and I was/am/will be over there (yonder) when I did/do/will do it ?

Thx
D
I'm not sure. But I can play along.

Imagine that, in some fictitious language, e- marks spacial remoteness and tack it on to the word "throw" (which coincidentally means the same thing as it does in English).You get - "*e-throw".

Now imagine this does not at all imply "I threw" in the past tense, because it's spacial. It simply means that you (or whoever the subject is) throw something from a distance /or/ a great distance (take your pick).

Fast forward hundreds of years, and speakers now use "*ethrow" with a perfective aspect - emphasizing the completeness of the action, rather than the process.

Fast forward hundreds of years, and speakers now use "*ethrew" (with an additional ablaut marker) with the same perfective aspect, only with the additional implication of a past temporal reference.

I'm just pulling that out of my rear. But hopefully it's at least somewhat coherent and analogous.
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Daniel Semler
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Daniel Semler » August 17th, 2019, 3:05 am

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 12:28 am
Daniel Semler wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 8:40 pm

That said, this quote may slowly be getting closer to the point. If "yonder, there" are spatial (which I'm happy to accept) and that the meaning of them is carried by an augment/prefix/suffix what have you, is the concept we are trying to represent here then something like this. I'll serialize in a weird English to try to get the concept - correct as needed. If I say "I [spatial augment for yonder]throw the ball" do I mean, I threw the ball and I was/am/will be over there (yonder) when I did/do/will do it ?

Thx
D
I'm not sure. But I can play along.

Imagine that, in some fictitious language, e- marks spacial remoteness and tack it on to the word "throw" (which coincidentally means the same thing as it does in English).You get - "*e-throw".

Now imagine this does not at all imply "I threw" in the past tense, because it's spacial. It simply means that you (or whoever the subject is) throw something from a distance /or/ a great distance (take your pick).

Fast forward hundreds of years, and speakers now use "*ethrow" with a perfective aspect - emphasizing the completeness of the action, rather than the process.

Fast forward hundreds of years, and speakers now use "*ethrew" (with an additional ablaut marker) with the same perfective aspect, only with the additional implication of a past temporal reference.

I'm just pulling that out of my rear. But hopefully it's at least somewhat coherent and analogous.
Yep that's what I was getting at - better stated - thanx for that.

Hmmmm.....

Thx
D
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RandallButh
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by RandallButh » August 17th, 2019, 6:45 am

D--
your question shows scholars getting entrapped/mixed up in the domain of their metaphors.
For Peter Gentry, he was saying that the roots of the morphological ε- augment came from an adverbial marker that was associated with 'farther away, over there'. So far, so good. However, when applied to verbs in general, that marker became/was temporal. There is no attestation to a non-metaphorical, physical-distance Greek verb category as a regularized/grammaticized layer in the history of Greek. So of course it was already temporal in the Homeric verb, even if optional due to poetry. There was no grammaticized class of far-away verbal semantics and closer verbal semantics for physical distance. Campbell should digest this. Cross-linguistically, verbs grammaticize around time, mood, and aspect, not physical distance. In other words, when a lexically adverbial item with some verb is grammaticized into a category for verbs in general, that category is no longer a physical spatial category but becomes related to time, mood and/or aspect metaphorically.

An aside--maybe as common or more common than adverbs in diachronic development (at least in my experience FWIW) is the use of two verbs to create a new verb category diachronically.
An English-base tok pisin used "finish" ( "*write *finish" ) for "wrote".
In Juba Arabic the Arabic words for "sitting" ga`id and "was" kaan were used for progressive aspect and past tense, respectively. This ga`id has been generalized and shortened to ge. (Sudanese colloquial Arabic can use the full ga`id as a progressive marker.) Also, qum 'to stand', as in Juba Arabic: gum akulu "stand eat" = "began to eat".
The same kind of process can be seen in modern Greek, where an idiom for future/intenion "θέλει-ἵνα subjunctive" has become θα + subjunctive, so that modern Greek now has two futures, θα αγοράζω "I will be buying" and θα αγοράσω "I will buy", which is aspectually more differentiated than the ancient dialects in the future.

Bottom line: students do not need to understand Campbell's "spatial verbs", they are a fata morgana, illusion, mirage. They do not exist, so why try to understand them? Moreover, why even teach such non-stuff to beginners?

Teach them to use Greek and to understand it at the speed of speech.

ἀνεγίνωσκον ὧδε ἐν τῇ οἰκείᾳ. (NB:  ε in a physically NEAR context) "I was reading here at home."
οὐκ ἀναγινώκω ἐκεῖ ἐν τῇ βιβλιοθήκῃ. (NB: no ε in a physically FAR context.) "I don't read there in the library." Contra Campbell.
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Jason Hare
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Jason Hare » August 17th, 2019, 8:27 am

RandallButh wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 6:45 am
They do not exist, so why try to understand them? Moreover, why even teach such non-stuff to beginners?

Teach them to use Greek and to understand it at the speed of speech.
I wish there were an applause emoji on the forum.

I stand in utter agreement with you. One can wax far too theoretical about such things. Pragmatism is far more valuable. How did Greek speakers express themselves? Learn this. We don't get so theoretical when teaching English as a second language, since our goal is communication. Having a goal of anything other than comprehension and communication undermines the ability of students to grasp what is being taught. I agree with Randall: Don't teach things that even a Greek speaker from 2000 years ago would not have been aware of when communicating. Teach Greek (and Hebrew) as a language, not just as a collection of phonemic and semantic phenomena.
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Daniel Semler
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Daniel Semler » August 17th, 2019, 11:11 am

RandallButh wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 6:45 am
D--
your question shows scholars getting entrapped/mixed up in the domain of their metaphors.
For Peter Gentry, he was saying that the roots of the morphological ε- augment came from an adverbial marker that was associated with 'farther away, over there'. So far, so good. However, when applied to verbs in general, that marker became/was temporal. There is no attestation to a non-metaphorical, physical-distance Greek verb category as a regularized/grammaticized layer in the history of Greek. So of course it was already temporal in the Homeric verb, even if optional due to poetry. There was no grammaticized class of far-away verbal semantics and closer verbal semantics for physical distance. Campbell should digest this. Cross-linguistically, verbs grammaticize around time, mood, and aspect, not physical distance. In other words, when a lexically adverbial item with some verb is grammaticized into a category for verbs in general, that category is no longer a physical spatial category but becomes related to time, mood and/or aspect metaphorically.

An aside--maybe as common or more common than adverbs in diachronic development (at least in my experience FWIW) is the use of two verbs to create a new verb category diachronically.
An English-base tok pisin used "finish" ( "*write *finish" ) for "wrote".
In Juba Arabic the Arabic words for "sitting" ga`id and "was" kaan were used for progressive aspect and past tense, respectively. This ga`id has been generalized and shortened to ge. (Sudanese colloquial Arabic can use the full ga`id as a progressive marker.) Also, qum 'to stand', as in Juba Arabic: gum akulu "stand eat" = "began to eat".
The same kind of process can be seen in modern Greek, where an idiom for future/intenion "θέλει-ἵνα subjunctive" has become θα + subjunctive, so that modern Greek now has two futures, θα αγοράζω "I will be buying" and θα αγοράσω "I will buy", which is aspectually more differentiated than the ancient dialects in the future.

Bottom line: students do not need to understand Campbell's "spatial verbs", they are a fata morgana, illusion, mirage. They do not exist, so why try to understand them? Moreover, why even teach such non-stuff to beginners?

Teach them to use Greek and to understand it at the speed of speech.

ἀνεγίνωσκον ὧδε ἐν τῇ οἰκείᾳ. (NB:  ε in a physically NEAR context) "I was reading here at home."
οὐκ ἀναγινώκω ἐκεῖ ἐν τῇ βιβλιοθήκῃ. (NB: no ε in a physically FAR context.) "I don't read there in the library." Contra Campbell.
Thanx for that Randall.

The reason I asked was that I wanted to understand what was proposed. No one had presented clearly by example in a simple way what was meant by the term. The second thing then would be to determine what one thought about it - that was the meaning behind "Hmmmm....." in my last post. I simply don't have the linguistic background that you have so I'm grateful for your input. Now that the proposition is clear (and here I am assuming that what Stephen Nelson and I cobbled together in the last couple of exchanges is what Campbell and others mean) it is easy to see the objections against it - though as I said I don't have the data - so your examples are helpful.
your question shows scholars getting entrapped/mixed up in the domain of their metaphors.
I had always taken as metaphor the spatial the helicopter view/street view of the parade description which is given in various places. (I might add I've never liked it much - never quite worked for me). Your comment above was one thought I had wondered about. If I have time I would like one time to read a decent non-Biblical Greek treatment of tense and aspect - something from the general linguistics literature. Hence my question to Eeli about the tense/aspect work he was reading.

As to teaching use of Greek at the speed of speech, I totally agree, and had I the time I would be enrolled in a conversational B-Greek class. Alas it's just not possible right now. So I'll do the composition thing which will help - even if it is Attic.

Thx
D
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RandallButh
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by RandallButh » August 17th, 2019, 1:34 pm

From earlier up above,
That said, this quote may slowly be getting closer to the point. If "yonder, there" are spatial (which I'm happy to accept) and that the meaning of them is carried by an augment/prefix/suffix what have you,
This already starts to skew the point. When the particle was an adverbial it was spatial, but when it was codified into the verb system as something beyond an individual lexeme, it was not spatial.
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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Nelson » August 17th, 2019, 6:17 pm

Daniel Semler wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 11:11 am
Now that the proposition is clear (and here I am assuming that what Stephen Nelson and I cobbled together in the last couple of exchanges is what Campbell and others mean) it is easy to see the objections against it - though as I said I don't have the data - so your examples are helpful.
your question shows scholars getting entrapped/mixed up in the domain of their metaphors.
I had always taken as metaphor the spatial the helicopter view/street view of the parade description which is given in various places. (I might add I've never liked it much - never quite worked for me). Your comment above was one thought I had wondered about. If I have time I would like one time to read a decent non-Biblical Greek treatment of tense and aspect - something from the general linguistics literature. Hence my question to Eeli about the tense/aspect work he was reading.

As to teaching use of Greek at the speed of speech, I totally agree, and had I the time I would be enrolled in a conversational B-Greek class. Alas it's just not possible right now. So I'll do the composition thing which will help - even if it is Attic.

Thx
D
Regarding my haphazard analogy, I would simply add to it that the last state of affairs I described (where speakers use "*ethrew" with the additional implication of a past temporal reference) is meant to be analogous with Homeric Greek. So the prior phases of linguistic development in the analogy would represent theoretically reconstructions of earlier LANGUAGES, like Proto-Indo-European (PIE) - not necessarily the development of one cohesive language. But that's all speculative.

Also, I gleaned some interesting facts about the famous "Parade Analogy" in "The Greek Verb Revisited" (Christopher Thomson's aritcle on "What is Aspect", pg. 13-80). I highly recommend you get that book, BTW.

The analogy was originally invented by a Russian linguist named Alexander Isachenko, and was applied to the Russian language. I have a degree in Russian and I was not familiar with Isachenko's work, nor had I ever heard of his analogy before I started studying Greek. I've emailed some of my former Russian professors to see if anyone can dig up the original text for me, because I can't seem to find it via Google. This kind of blew my mind because Russian is a highly aspectual language where nearly all verbs have perfective and imperfective forms - and ALL of the finite forms of verbs semantically encode TENSE in Russian (albeit secondary to aspect, just like in Greek).

Anyways, according to Thomson, Isachenko compared perfective verbs to watching a parade from the stand (with a view of the beginning and end). And he compared imperfective verbs to being a participant in the parade (without a view of the beginning or end).

But Thomson notes that this analogy has flaws, in that Russian can use imperfective aspect to describe situations/events as a whole. This is especially true in the past tense where it can function much like the Greek aorist. Thomson asserts:
"Isachenko saw the totality expressed by perfective aspect as primarily temporal rather than spacial. The analogy works because a parade moves through time and space simultaneously..."
Porter reportedly change the analogy by making the "view from the stand" analogous to IMPERFECTIVE aspect, and changing the PERFECTIVE aspect to a "view from a helicopter" (taking in the whole parade at once), which Thomson suggests is Porter's subtle way of moving away from a temporal understanding of aspect. Thomson rightly points out:
"The fact that the view from the stand has been used to illustrate both perfective aspect (by Isachenko) and imperfective aspect (by Porter) is perhaps an indication that the analogy is rather less helpful than it appears at first sight."
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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Aorist indicative with future temporal reference

Post by Stephen Nelson » August 17th, 2019, 6:18 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 6:17 pm
Daniel Semler wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 11:11 am
Now that the proposition is clear (and here I am assuming that what Stephen Nelson and I cobbled together in the last couple of exchanges is what Campbell and others mean) it is easy to see the objections against it - though as I said I don't have the data - so your examples are helpful.
your question shows scholars getting entrapped/mixed up in the domain of their metaphors.
I had always taken as metaphor the spatial the helicopter view/street view of the parade description which is given in various places. (I might add I've never liked it much - never quite worked for me). Your comment above was one thought I had wondered about. If I have time I would like one time to read a decent non-Biblical Greek treatment of tense and aspect - something from the general linguistics literature. Hence my question to Eeli about the tense/aspect work he was reading.

As to teaching use of Greek at the speed of speech, I totally agree, and had I the time I would be enrolled in a conversational B-Greek class. Alas it's just not possible right now. So I'll do the composition thing which will help - even if it is Attic.

Thx
D
Regarding my haphazard analogy, I would simply add to it that the last state of affairs I described (where speakers use "*ethrew" with the additional implication of a past temporal reference) is meant to be analogous with Homeric Greek. So the prior phases of linguistic development in the analogy would represent theoretically reconstructions of earlier LANGUAGES, like Proto-Indo-European (PIE) - not necessarily the development of one cohesive language. But that's all speculative.

Also, I gleaned some interesting facts about the famous "Parade Analogy" in "The Greek Verb Revisited" (Christopher Thomson's aritcle on "What is Aspect", pg. 13-80). I highly recommend you get that book, BTW.

The analogy was originally invented by a Russian linguist named Alexander Isachenko, and was applied to the Russian language. I have a degree in Russian and I was not familiar with Isachenko's work, nor had I ever heard of his analogy before I started studying Greek. I've emailed some of my former Russian professors to see if anyone can dig up the original text for me, because I can't seem to find it via Google. This kind of blew my mind because Russian is a highly aspectual language where nearly all verbs have perfective and imperfective forms - and ALL of the finite forms of verbs semantically encode TENSE in Russian (albeit secondary to aspect, just like in Greek).

Anyways, according to Thomson, Isachenko compared perfective verbs to watching a parade from the stand (with a view of the beginning and end). And he compared imperfective verbs to being a participant in the parade (without a view of the beginning or end).

But Thomson notes that this analogy has flaws, in that Russian can use imperfective aspect to describe situations/events as a whole. Thomson asserts:
"Isachenko saw the totality expressed by perfective aspect as primarily temporal rather than spacial. The analogy works because a parade moves through time and space simultaneously..."
Porter reportedly change the analogy by making the "view from the stand" analogous to IMPERFECTIVE aspect, and changing the PERFECTIVE aspect to a "view from a helicopter" (taking in the whole parade at once), which Thomson suggests is Porter's subtle way of moving away from a temporal understanding of aspect. Thomson rightly points out:
"The fact that the view from the stand has been used to illustrate both perfective aspect (by Isachenko) and imperfective aspect (by Porter) is perhaps an indication that the analogy is rather less helpful than it appears at first sight."
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