Blackwelder...and aspect/Aktionsart, etc.

From: Rod Decker (
Date: Mon Mar 16 1998 - 11:56:10 EST

>From the various responses to the query re. Blackwelder and the
significance of participles, etc., it appears that aspect and Aktionsart
are new to many current list members. These two *distinct* categories have
been confused in several recent posts. (They have been discussed here at
length on a number of previous occasions.) I'm not going to renew that
thread or join the current one, but I will point to a summary that may be
of interest to some of you.


This is a summary of my current dissertation work (final, pre-defense
draft). I would suggest that those new to aspect theory might find the
summary near the end of chapter 1 helpful (the text isn't hypertext linked;
once you're on the page, use your browser's find command to search for
"Summary of Verbal Aspect").

Another issue raised in the same thread relates to a minimalist view of
grammar. Relevant there are some notes at the end of the diss. summary
(last paragraph).

Unfortunately, the summary I posted does not contain any of the
footnotes--which would have been particularly helpful in the last
paragraph, so I'll append here a key note from the diss. that will suggest
some resources that may be of use on this topic:

>The factors discussed in this dissertation and which are summarized
>above would suggest that exegesis is best served by a minimalist approach
>to language in which the least significance is attributed to the individual
>elements and greater weight is placed on the context. Similar concerns have
>been voiced by M. Silva on a number of occasions, most explicitly as it
>relates to verbs and verbal aspect in *Explorations in Exegetical Method*,
>68-79; see also his *Biblical Words and Their Meanings*, 153-8; *God, Language
>and Scripture*, esp. 11-6, 118, 144, though the whole is relevant; "Language
>and Style of the Gospels," in *The Gospels Today,* ed. J. Skilton, 35-6; and
>*Philippians*, WEC, 13. Also relevant to this issue are E. Nida, "Implications
>of Contemporary Linguistics for Biblical Scholarship," JBL 91 (1972): 74, 86;
>M. Joos, "Semantic Axiom Number One," Language 48 (1972): 257; and FVA, 82.
>Although not formulated in quite such terms, this also appears to be the
>burden of a good part of Carson's *Exegetical Fallacies*, particularly chapter
>2, "Grammatical Fallacies," 65-86.

[FVA is Fanning, *Verbal Aspect*]


 Rodney J. Decker Baptist Bible Seminary
 Asst. Prof./NT P O Box 800 Clarks Summit PA 18411

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