Re: hHKW/hHKASIN in Mk 8:3--pf or pres?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Oct 15 1997 - 09:29:49 EDT

At 7:46 AM -0500 10/15/97, Rod Decker wrote:
>This is prob. a traditional crux, but should hHKASIN in Mk 8:3 be parsed as
>a perfect form or a present form? I find it listed as a pf in BDF s.101 and
>(I assume*) BAGD, 344. But Gramcord/Accordance parses it as a present, as
>does Mounce (both in his Analytical and in his Morphology) and
>Brooks/Winbery (Morphology, 136 n. 1--which also lists *BAGD as supporting

I suppose that what I'm about to say is pretty obvious and probably doesn't
really answer your question, Rod. Nevertheless: I think that since hHKW is
normally a present tense with a perfective force ("to have arrived"), and
since it has a Kappa as a root/stem-consonant, it is here given an
anomalous 3d pl. perfect-tense termination. So how to parse it? At this
point, parsing becomes a silly sort of game we play of pigeonholing in
terms of form rather than in terms of meaning (as when we term HDUNHQHN an
aorist "passive deponent" 1 sg. indic.). How does one parse OIDA: as a
present 1st sg. or as a perfect 1st sg.? Isn't this a morphologist's
nightmare? I can't complain of the fact that the textbook I use to teach
Classical Attic (JACT _Reading Greek_) teaches OIDA as a present tense,
just warning the student to memorize its conjugation. Oh, if only we could
ignore morphology! Greek would be so easy if its verb morphology were not a
great morass--but that's what it is. In sum, I think I'd say that the form
hHKASI is (a) present tense 3d plural, and (b) probably should be termed a
solecism. I also would have to say that the curve ball you threw us a few
months back about IATAI as a perfect passive belongs here (almost as
effective as Kevin Brown's curve ball against the Braves last night!).

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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