From: Dale M. Wheeler (dalemw@teleport.com)
Date: Tue Mar 17 1998 - 12:59:24 EST

Rod Decker wrote:

>>the sense that the action is not taking place in a "present" time
>>frame (I think this is metalingual ?). Thus the "aoristic" present
>>feels like it is portraying a past action simply because of the
>>aspectual nuance, not because there is not temporal grammaticalization;
>>its almost a Past Instans (ala the Future Instans).
>I don't dare take time for a full response here. Let me just point out that
>I think that "aoristic present" is an *Aktionsart* category, not an
>aspectual one. Arguments for such a creature always point to the nature of
>the action so described--and that is *not* what aspect is all about--but
>that IS what Aktionsart is intended to describe.

Wow... Rod, I think you lost me *BIG TIME* here !!

Here's what I *really* think about the present (which is pretty much what
Fanning said in his discussion of the 1John3 passages in his book)...

My own personal feeling is that in general the present *is not* durative
by nature, but rather it is aoristic in the sense of being undefined...
ie., it just gets out of the way and lets the Aktionsart of the verb
do its thing. When Greek speakers want to indicate durativeness
with verbs which are not by nature durative in and of themselves,
they normally use helping words (eg., adverbs) or place the
present in a context where durativeness is clearly indicated. I
realize that this is not what we were taught nor is it the
impression given by most grammar books...the discussion of the
Aspect nuance of the Tenses to the exclusion of the prior
determination of the Aktionsart of the verb is, in my view, a
*serious* weakness of every syntax book...including Wallace (I
tried to get him to do that part of it differently, but he was
unable to make a significant change that late in the project's
process). When I teach syntax, I give them Fanning's taxonomy and
teach them to be able to identify the Aktionsart of the verb (or is
that the lexis ?).

Is that what you were referring to above, or are we really talking
past each other here because of the use of terminology in different
ways ?


Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail: dalemw@teleport.com

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