Re: Black and Decker (and Porter and Terminology)

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Thu Aug 07 1997 - 06:51:26 EDT

At 07:22 PM 8/3/97 +0200, Rolf Furuli wrote:
>On Fri, 15 Aug 1997 17:33 Jonathan Robie wrote to Ward Powers.
>Yet in one area I disagree with you rather strongly. I
>donęt think there is such a thing as punctiliarity inside the imperfective
>aspect. I regret that this is the very field where you see the light.
>Fortunately, most of the disagreement relates to terms rather than essence.

Hi, Rolf,

Sorry I didn't get back sooner, but I was in San Francisco on business. I
think that you misunderstood me on this issue - I do not think that there is
such a thing as "punctiliarity inside the imperfective aspect" either. I
think that punctiliarity belongs to one model, and imperfective aspect
belongs to another, and the two terms do not explain the same thing. The
same grammatical usage which can be classified as imperfective in the aspect
model may be either punctiliar or durative in the Aktionsart model. This is
the point I was trying to make.

Hence, in Luke 7:8, POREUETAI, ERCETAI, and POIEI are all imperfective, but
Robertson classified them as punctiliar, and created a whole syntactic
category for the 'aoristic present' to account for them. My point was that
we simply can't assume that imperfective aspect and durative/linear
Aktionsart are the same thing.

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

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