Re: Augment revisited (was: NUN+Verb.Aorist)

From: Don Wilkins (
Date: Wed Apr 30 1997 - 22:04:31 EDT

At 7:11 PM 4/30/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>At 03:58 PM 4/30/97 -0800, Don Wilkins wrote:
>>Jonathan, if you are referring to the absence of the augment in
>>non-indicative moods, then of course we would say that such aorists
>>inherently do not have reference to the past. As always, the problem is
>>with the indicative. Do you have in mind some aor. ind's that do not have
>>the augment? Offhand I can't think of any except those which are from the
>>Homeric time period or are "missing" the augment due to purely
>>morphological reasons (e.g. those verbs which begin with a long vowel).
>But does anybody argue that aorists of the Homeric period which do not have
>augments have different time properties than those which do have augments?

No, or at least they shouldn't, unless "exceptions are going to be made for
such phenomena as gnomic aorists (which in itself is a muddy concept, IMO).
The point that seems to be getting missed is that the augment evidently is
a "later" development in Greek (i.e. fully developed some time *after* the
Homeric period and before the Classical period), brought in for the purpose
of indicating past time.

Don Wilkins
UC Riverside

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