Greek Grammarians and Aspect

From: Williams, Wes (
Date: Tue Mar 24 1998 - 19:28:37 EST

I would appreciate a fundamental question answered about verbal aspect
after following the aspect threads for three years. Did not Classical
Greek (and Koine) have grammarians of their day and do we not have some
of their works? If so, what did they write about aspect, time and tense?
How did they define the present "tense?" I would think that their
comments would carry a lot of weight in modern definitions of their
aspect. Carl? Others? Do not such works exist?

The addendum to consider with the Greek grammarians of the past (if they
did not have our modern suggestions of aspect) would be the introduction
of the Semitic mind and Hebraic usage of Greek. If the Hebrew mind
heavily used aspect with Hebrew, then I can see Hebrew writers using
Greek in Hebraic ways to express their view of aspect (as Rolf points
out). But would this affect the common Greek of everyone else who spoke
Greek and who did not have the Hebrew mind? If the grammarians of the
past did not share our views of aspect, this is where I need to pause
and look for the bridge across the canyon.

If we have the works of Grammarians of the period or before, is it not
fundamental for us to ask what they wrote about aspect, time, and tense?
Does anyone have references of works to consult?

Wes Williams

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