RE: Verb Aspect

From: Clayton Bartholomew (
Date: Tue Aug 05 1997 - 09:11:33 EDT

Thanks to Rod Decker's footnote I found a clear statement of my
basic reservation about Porter and Fanning on verb aspect. On Page
511 of D. Wallace's *Beyond the Basics* he has a footnote to Moises
Silva from Silva's article *A Response to Fanning and Porter on
Verbal Aspect* included in the book edited by D.A. Carson and
Stanely E. Porter, Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics: Open
Questions in Current Research, Sheffield, 1993. The quote is long so
I will not transcribe it here.

The basic point is that any attempt to find an *invariant* meaning
for each of the various verb aspects is a violation of a fundamental
linguistic axiom founded on the work of F. de Saussure. This does
not rule out, however, the possibility that some grammarians may
simply reject this *axiom* of Saussure. Some have rejected it and
many chafe under it.

Arguments about the details of Porter and Fanning tend to obscure
this weakness, which does not manifest itself at the level of
details. This is a weakness in the foundation of their systems not in

Clay Bartholomew
Three Tree Point

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