Re: prohibitions

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Mon Mar 24 1997 - 15:18:26 EST

Trevor Peterson asked:

>In light of the discussion that has recently developed over tenses, does
>anyone have some thoughts on prohibitions? I've read some grammars that
>seem to identify present imperative as always a command to stop an
>action already in progress and aorist subjunctive as indicating that an
>action ought not be started. It seems, though, that a number of present
>imperatives don't necessarily imply anything about whether the action is
>already in progress, and some seem to refer particularly to an action
>that has not yet begun. Is this an area where the wrong emphasis has
>been placed on linear vs. punctiliar?

IMHO, Fanning, _Verbal_Aspect_, has an outstanding discussion (dare I say,
the best I've ever seen [which doesn't imply that I've seen everything]) of
the use of positive and negative imperatives. One of the problems he points
out is that different writers have uses which are non-standard and
apparently their own "style" at certain points. If some listmembers would
like it, I can post a summary of his work on imp'vs, which I give to my
Syntax classes (however, its at work, and I'm at home right now).


Dale M. Wheeler, Th.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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