Re: Pragmatic/Semantic

From: Rod Decker (
Date: Wed Mar 18 1998 - 06:35:04 EST

Rolf said,

>I think the same model can be applied exclusively to verbs, to their
>Aktionsart (lexical meaning) versus aspect. The Aktionsart of a verb is
>semantic and uncancellable; in most verbs is it durative. Because the verbs
>are the backbone of any situation of communication, languages like Greek
>and Hebrew have grammaticalized a mechanism to *make* particular sides of
>the action *visible* to the reader, namely aspect. If aspect is viewed this
>way- and here I differ from Mari - then aspects are wholly pragmatic and
>not semantic. This means that characteristics such as durative, punctiliar,
>complete(d), incomplete, and even *ongoing*, are exclusively reserved for
>Aktionsart, and aspect is just a devise to make visible a part of what

Interesting that this suggestion is exactly opposite what most whom I read
during diss. research would say. It is my impression that when this issue
is discussed (not often enough!) that the aspect is viewed as semantic and
Aktionsart as pragmatic.


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

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