Re: (Augmented!) imperfects without past reference

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed May 21 1997 - 12:55:58 EDT

At 11:15 AM -0400 5/21/97, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>But looking at the original examples I cited, how would I *know* that this
>is a desiderative imperfect with AN omitted, as opposed to a simple
>imperfect, especially since they can also be read sensibly with a normal
>imperfect meaning?

See my corrected post. It's Smyth #1780, cf, also #1827, 1832; BDF #359,
which does discuss the older classical Attic usages. There's no way you
could know this without some sense of the history of the language or
looking carefully at the grammars. Wallace has a not-very-adequate
discussion under the heading, "Conative (Voluntative, Tendential)
Imperfect," pp. 550-552.

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

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