Re: Proffessor [sic] Blackwelder and participles

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Thu Mar 19 1998 - 12:27:46 EST

On Tue, 17 Mar 1998 09:50:08 -0800 "Dale M. Wheeler"
<> writes:

>As I said in one of my recent posts,
>I'm NOT inclined to think of the Present as if it simply were
>the Imperfect, but in present time. The present tense form has to
>cover everything, and as a result it simply can't always indicate
>ongoingness/durativeness/linearity. 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, 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

Am I missing something here? What difference, then, would exist
between the present tense and the aorist tense of a verb, if both are
essentially aoristic, undefined? Now I can see an aoristic nuance of
the present tense, but it appears you are broadening this to include
all present tenses.

Paul Dixon

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