Re: The augment

From: Don Wilkins (
Date: Mon Apr 07 1997 - 19:20:42 EDT

At 6:53 AM 4/7/97, Rod Decker wrote:
>Don Wilkins declared that:
>>The standard wisdom is that the
>>aorist augment in the indicative is a sign of past time. That is where we
>>should start in interpreting this construction, and the evidence for this
>>view of the augment is voluminous and has been around for a very long time.
>If that is your starting presupposition and you aren't willing to even
>consider that it might be an invalid or at least not sufficiently nuanced,
>then the discussion won't get very far. A lot of other theories have been
>defended like this (a lot of evidence, long tradition, etc.)--theories that
>have no credibility these days. I might argue that the argument is strictly
>a morphological marker for secondary endings. The evidence is voluminous...
>But I don't have time to pursue a debate on the issue since I'm preoccupied
>with writing a dissertation (on aspect, BTW).

Rod, my congratulations on your obtaining the ABD position, and I will keep
this short for time purposes as well. First, I am willing to reconsider the
validity of the augment given significant evidence, as I hope I made clear
in a previous post. Second, you could argue almost anything, including the
theory that the augment is simply a marker for secondary endings, but I
would see this as begging the question unless you can provide significant
evidence (previously defined). Secondary endings are by definition
secondary and in my view do not need an additional marker, ergo one cannot
argue that the augment has no significant meaning because it merely marks a
secondary ending, given the *assumption* that since it has no meaning it
must serve merely to mark the ending.

Don Wilkins

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:11 EDT