Re: NUN+Verb.Aorist

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Wed Apr 30 1997 - 17:52:35 EDT

At 01:28 PM 4/30/97 -0400, Paul Zellmer wrote:
>How about if I show that your English translations, while possible in
>the context, is not necessarily the translations of the Greek form
>found. IOW, the perfect could have been used, and would have made
>sense, but that does not infer that *these* are perfects or
>perfect-like. That is the downfall of depending only on
>falsifiability. Indirect proofs can *disprove* but they cannot *prove*.

Well, I'd ask you to do one more thing: you would have to construct a common
meaning for NUN+Verb.Aorist which holds for all these examples at least as
well as my explanation does. Otherwise, my explanation is better at
accounting for the data, and has more explanatory and predictive value.

Right now, I'd rather not argue each of your examples. I think you have
explained your interpretation clearly and well, and I have done the same for
my interpretation quite a while ago, so there are now two different
viewpoints in the archives, each represented in some detail. I like that.

>I see it differently. I agree with what would happen if we removed the
>NUN and left the aorist. However, I do not agree that the change to
>perfect would be so minimal from what we have now. NASU made the
>decision to use the English perfect form, but I see the NUN+Aorist.Ind
>as focusing *only* on the precipitating event, not on its continuing
>impact. The NUN is a contrast between a stated or implied contrary
>estate--that was then and this is now. It appears that your NUN is,
>"this is the current state." A slightly different focus, but I do see a
>distinction. (I won't commit hari-kari if you're right and I'm wrong,

Please *don't* commit hari-kari, since that would make it rather difficult
for us to meet for lunch tomorrow. I'm not yet convinced, but you are quite
consistent in your interpretation here, and this really does help me
understand your point of view better. Of course, if you *did* convince me at
this point, I would have to rethink my whole model of tense and aspect,
which has taken 6 months to even start firming up. Hari-kari might be
easier! Then again, I *enjoy* rethinking things...


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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