Re: Attention aspect geeks: John 15:6 EBLHQH, EXHRANQH

From: Don Wilkins (
Date: Wed Apr 09 1997 - 22:30:48 EDT

Jonathan, I sense that we all need a break from this discussion, and so to
spare others on the list I will probably respond to you off-list after this
>>No, you are slipping into the mind-reading mode apparently without
>>realizing it. "All we can know" is how the writer is *describing* the
>For me, "portray" and "describe" are synonomous here; "portray" fits the
>visual metaphor of aspect better, but you can substitute "describe" in my
>above sentence without loss of meaning. We agree: we can only see what is in
>the sentence. And Mari would also agree, I'm quite sure.

"Portray" is equally fine with me

....My phrase "the viewpoint from which the writer portrays the action" is the
>same as your "the way the writer chooses to describe the action", except
>that it stresses the visual metaphor of aspect, and also stresses that
>the action can be viewed from within the process, viewed from the time
>of completion, etc.

Again, I can only say that we don't know the writer's viewpoint; but this
is hardly worth debating because I was just expressing my dislike for the
term "aspect".

>My claim is that Smyth is saying that real aorists, augment and all, can be
>primary tenses, which means that they can refer to present and future time.
>How am I misinterpreting him?

We have already covered this ground, but I'll reiterate that you are
failing (as far as I can tell) to distinguish Smyth's explanation of what
the aorist ind. means by nature from the "point" that a writer can make
given context, which in a sense is clarified by Mari's explanation of
>I don't think that I'm misunderstanding Smyth. I'm not sure if I'm
>understanding you. If I *am* misunderstanding Smyth, please tell me how you
>construe the above quote.

As you rightly imply, it matters little whether you understand me. Re
Smyth, I hope that I've answered the question again, and if not, you might
want to reply off-list.

Don Wilkins

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