Re: Blackwelder...and aspect/Aktionsart, etc.

From: Rod Decker (
Date: Mon Mar 16 1998 - 14:42:09 EST

>Glad to see that you are coming to the end of this process (or
>have you already ?) !!

No, not there yet. The final draft has been submitted to my committee and
to the external reader (Buist Fanning). Once they have had a chance to look
it over and confer, they will schedule an oral defense date--probably in

>1) Do I now have to start using lexis and "verbal complex" as
>well as Aktionsart and Aspect when we engage in these
>discussions... (-; ??

"Lexis"--yes (though it's not really new, just a shorthand way to say "the
lexical meaning of the word"). This term is used technically in the
literature. My "verbal complex" is not intended as a new techncial term,
but again is merely a convenient shorthand for "the meaning conveyed by the
context as a whole, including aspect and Aktionsart."

>2) Since the greatest area of temporal reference and aspectual
>diversity comes in the present tense, did you (or has anyone
>else) considered the possibility that, since Greek only has
>one "present tense" form, that such diversity is the result of
>the necessity of cramming multiple meanings into this one form ?
>As I suggested in one of my other posts, it seems ("feels" ?!)
>to me like the Greek present is much like the German in that
>there is one form which must cover all the ground in both time
>and aspectual issues; speakers/writers are however aware of
>these ambiguities and will, when necessary give the reader/
>hearer contextual clues when unconventional temporal or
>aspectual issues are involved in a sentence with a present

I'm not sure what you mean when you say:
>Greek only has one "present tense" form
That's true of *any* form in Greek--i.e., there is only one aorist, one
perfect, etc. On the other side, there is no time reference that has only
one form with which to express itself; i.e., present can be expressed with
both aorist, present, and perfect forms; past time can be expressed with
aorist, imperfect, present, etc. As to aspect, one has only one form
(perfective aspect > aorist), others have two (imperfective aspect >
present and imperfect, etc.). But no verb form (traditionally "tense")
expresses more than one *aspect* (but note that is not true of
Aktionsart!). And if we want to further complicate the question, we might
ask if we are talking about L-tense or M-tense? (Language tense = the
morphological category specifying a verb's *form* [aorist, present,
imperfect, etc.]; Metalinguistic tense = past/present/future/temporally
unrestricted [in Greek], but this is a contextual/deictic category, not a
morphological one.)


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

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