Re: Fundamentally flawed?

From: Richard Lindeman (
Date: Wed Mar 18 1998 - 23:46:00 EST

>He hit a homer.
>This is the ball he hit out of the park.
>He hit balls in the batting cage all afternoon.

Nice example. I don't see any Aktionsart or other internal magic of the
verb here. I just see the verb being used in different contexts. I also
notice that the punctiliar example of "He hit a homer" is probably the most
customary aspect usage in English.

In Greek when a tense becomes common usage in connection with a verb form it
is much more complex than our English example because tense encodes
primarily aspect and secondarily time.

One of the advantages of dealing with the so called "Aktionsart" as an
external function of context rather than as an internal function of the
verbal root is that now perhaps some basic rules can be formed for dealing
with the phenomenon. For instance... we can look for and expect to find
*customary tense usage* patterns in those verbs which are the most commonly
used. Secondly, we can expect that when a verb form is being used outside
of its normal tense usage pattern that aspect is then most likely emphatic.
This does not mean that when a verb form is being used inside of its normal
tense usage that aspect is necessarily unemphatic. It just means that we
will then need to pay closer attention to the context to determine whether
or not aspect is being stressed.

Rich Lindeman

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