Re: Cohortative Subjunctive and verbal aspect

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Feb 14 1997 - 09:12:51 EST

At 10:52 AM -0600 2/13/97, wrote:
>Greetings and salutations!
>I would appreciate comments and/or recommended articles on the cohortative
>subjuntive. I particulary would like to know if anyone views its usage as
>"marked". It would seem to fit the definition since it is a relatively rare
>verbal form.
>Verb aspect, as I understand it, primarily refers to alternation in tenses
>with the aorist being the text of default, and the perfect the most marked.
> Can verbal aspect also apply to rarer moods, and other general verbal
>configurations that are unusual?
>In other words, does a verbal feature, which is a bit out of the ordinary,
>receive emphasis as a rule?
>I understand that there was some discussion on verbal aspect a short time
>ago, but I lost all my files before I read them. I apologize if this is

Hesitant as I am to expose my ignorance, I must confess that I've never
heard of the "cohortative subjunctive" nor can I find it readily in any of
the grammars, New Testament or Classical Attic, that I've checked. Is this
what is more commonly called the "hortatory" subjunctive" (1st person
plural, "Let us ...") or "volitive" subjunctive (3rd sg./pl. "let him
...")? Or is it one of these newly-minted grammatical categories that seem
to be discovered/invented, I sometimes suspect, to justify the publication
of new grammars. I am befuddled by the term; please explain. Thanks.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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