MAubrey wrote:The confusion arises by your words "a perfect use of the imperfect," which can be read as "a non-continuous use of the imperfect" or as "an ideal use of the imperfect." Considering that Wallace is claiming precisely that the examples from Mark are non-continuous uses of the imperfect, I hope you can understand why someone might read your statement as meaning for former rather than the latter.
Haha.. sorry I thought it was an unambiguous pun.
MAubrey wrote:But, then, if that's the case, I still have absolutely no idea why your Exodus example is at all relevant since it appears in a context that is clearly iterative. Conversely, these examples that appear in the middle of direct speech are not clearly iterative or continuous. Steve (and Levinsohn) are simply providing an arguing that demonstrates that they are.
I think we are talking about two different things. Indeed Steve and I are both saying that all imperfect verbs are really imperfective, but I am talking about the reason he gives for its function. I cannot restrict myself to only the instances of imperfect verbs of speech that appear in the middle of direct discourse, because certainly those would seem to segment the discourse. What I was claiming is that they do not segment anything, any more than any other imperfect verbs segment narrative. So I felt that the example in Exodus was relevant because it was an example of an imperfect verb of saying that was clearly used to refer to some form of speech of some duration, in my opinion placing the reader in the perspective of one who was there hearing the ongoing speech. I just cannot see why we cannot understand every instance of an imperfect verb of speech to have exactly the same meaning as this, rather than to be the natural choice
to segment direct discourse.
For example, in English I could say either of the following and the past progressive has nothing to do with segmenting discourse:
"He was telling us all about his travels."
"He told us all about his travels."
Likewise in Mark 2:23-26, there are three instances of the imperfect, none of which can be explained as a means to segment discourse, given that they are simply repeated one after another:
"και εγενετο παραπορευεσθαι αυτον εν τοις σαββασιν δια των σποριμων και ηρξαντο οι μαθηται αυτου οδον ποιειν τιλλοντες τους σταχυας και οι φαρισαιοι ελεγον αυτω ιδε τι ποιουσιν εν τοις σαββασιν ο ουκ εξεστιν και αυτος ελεγεν αυτοις ουδεποτε ανεγνωτε τι εποιησεν δαυιδ οτε χρειαν εσχεν και επεινασεν αυτος και οι μετ αυτου πως εισηλθεν εις τον οικον του θεου επι αβιαθαρ αρχιερεως και τους αρτους της προθεσεως εφαγεν ους ουκ εξεστιν φαγειν ει μη τοις ιερευσιν και εδωκεν και τοις συν αυτω ουσιν και ελεγεν αυτοις το σαββατον δια τον ανθρωπον εγενετο ουχ ο ανθρωπος δια το σαββατον ωστε κυριος εστιν ο υιος του ανθρωπου και του σαββατου"
"and [it] came to be [that] he passed by in the sabbath through the sown [fields] and his disciples began to make [a] path, plucking the heads of grain. and the pharisees were saying to him, behold, why do they do in the sabbath that which is not allowed? and he was saying to them, did you not even once read what David did when [he] had need and was hungry? he and the [ones] with him, how [he] entered into the house of God before Abiathar [the] chief priest and ate the bread [loaves] of the display, which [one] is not allowed to eat except for the priests, and gave also to the [ones] being with him? and [he] was saying to them, the sabbath came to be because of man, not man because of the sabbath. so also the son of man is lord also of the sabbath."