Re: semantics, pragmatics, and the teaching of greek

From: Mari Olsen (
Date: Wed Oct 25 1995 - 11:20:35 EDT

> >I'll end with a favorite quote from Roman Jakobson, best known for his
> >phonological features, but also for work on semantic features:
> >
> >"The meaning [in the case of unmarked features, such as past for the
> >aorist] is here conditioned by the situation, and even if this meaning
> >is the most common function of this category, the investigator
> >nevertheless must not equate the statistically predominant meaning of
> >the category with its general meaning.... By regarding as an
> >essential relationship something which within the system of the
> >language merely has the status of a possible relationship, grammarians
> >end up by making rules with a great number of exceptions."
> Would you happen to have the source of that quote handy? I'd like to pursue
> it; haven't read anything by Jakobson before (my background is not in
> linguistics).

Whoops! Should have cited it in my message. Besides being on p. 37
of my thesis (where I note I failed to include the page number--also
there's a related quote on p. 36), it's from

Jakobson, Roman. 1932. Zur Struktur des russischen Verbums. In R.
Jakobson. 1971. Selected Writings, vol. 2. The Hague: Mouton.


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