Re: Aspect, Aktionsart, and Perfect Periphrastic Participles

From: Mike Adams (
Date: Tue Mar 18 1997 - 16:09:45 EST

> From:
> To:
> Subject: Aspect, Aktionsart, and Perfect Periphrastic Participles
> Date: Tuesday, March 18, 1997 11:02 AM
> I truly enjoy the aspect/ aktionsart distinctions and contribution from
> Rolf, and Dale. Thank you all. I've read Mari's thesis, McKay, parts of
> and am now halfway through Fanning. I like the theories, but Luke 1:7
bugs me.
> To see the dynamics in action, can you elaborate on Luke 1:7? It might
> settle well with me if I understand this. KAI AMFOTEROI PROBEBHKOTES EN
> hHMERAIS AUTWN HSAN "and they were well along in years."
> Porter/ Fanning say that the perfect participle emphasizes an aorist
> "punctiliar" beginning followed by a state.
> Question: At what "point" has one become geriatric (I always say 15 years
> than I am at any point in time)? I want to therefore reject the notion of
> "punctiliar" beginning for the perfect participle. Am I correct?
> Dale noted (correctly I believe) that the addition of periphrasis does
> necessarily add more durative aktionsart.
> Question: So why DOES Luke add the periphrastic with the perfect
participle? Why
> does not Luke simply use the perfect? Why doesn't Luke just use the
imperfect to
> emphasize durative aktionsart here if duration is his point? Or is the
> periphrasis added for emphasis? If emphasis, WHY does it emphasize?
> Porter emphasizes the periphrastic perfect participle is nothing but
> state with a beginning, and he may well be right although I remain
reserved on
> the "beginning." But how do the dynamics of aspect and aktionsart play on
> periphrasis and the perfect in Luke 1:7?
> I am having given thanks in advance,
> Wes
The point Luke seems to be trying to make as that they were infertile,
they never had any kids during their (presumed) many years of marriage,
and that they had passed the age where she would even hope to conceive.
I think, in the case of Elizabeth that Luke, the "physician", was at least
hinting at menopause. What was important was not their numeric
age, but the physical milestone they had passed.


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