Re: Aspect Specifics

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Apr 14 1997 - 11:42:48 EDT

At 9:14 AM -0500 4/14/97, S. M. Baugh wrote:
>>>For instance, if we
>> >find GINWSKW in the aorist, the entrance into knowledge would be
>> >communicated, "come to know" "learn": TOTE GNWTE hOTI HGGIKEN hH
>> >ERHMWSIS AUTHS, "*Learn* then that her desolation is at hand" (Luke
>> >21:20).
>> This depends on how we interpret the meaning of the word GINWSKW;
>>suppose I give it the meaning "realize" or "get in your head that",
>>then the aorist does in fact look back from after the time of
>>completion. And in this usage, I think that *is* what it means.
>I think this point is worth more thought. I would say that "realize" or
>"get in your head that" are simple alternate translations of GINWSKW's
>inceptive meaning. "Realize" means "begin to understand" and "get in
>your head" means "begin to understand" but is simply more colloquial. In
>other words this meaning for GINWSKW is indicated by the author/speaker
>and drawn out from the lexeme GINWSKW by the reader/hearer not from
>general contextual features *but from the aorist* itself. At this point
>"aspect" and one of the lexeme's meanings coalesce into one linguistic
>entity. The evidence is that you will never see GINWSKW have this
>inceptive meaning in present or perfect forms. (That's a prediction, but
>a safe one.) Whereas in the aorist forms, GINWSKW *normally* has this
>meaning (there may be exceptions, but they would be rare). I don't think
>you exactly contradicted this, but it's worth noting.

Strictly as a matter of idiom, it seems to me that I have frequently seen
in Plato the simple EMAQON in the sense, "Oh, now I get it" or "Now I see."
I would suppose this is resultative, but if one wanted to count up
thousands of categories, one might call it "aorist of action completed a
moment ago."

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

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