Re: Greek Grammarians and Aspect

From: Edward Hobbs (
Date: Wed Mar 25 1998 - 18:31:28 EST


Wes Williams, seconded by Rich Lindeman, asks whether there were
Greek grammarians of Classical and Koine times, and if so, what
did they say about aspect, time, and tense.

While this is an impossibly busy time for me, and I have no time for a
serious answer, I see that no one has responded to the main question, as to
grammarians of that era.

We know of two major grammarians, both in Hellenistic times.

Dionysius Thrax was an Alexandrian of the second century BCE.
Apollonius Dyscolus was also an Alexandrian, of the second century CE.

We have portions of their work, mostly published over a century ago in
Leipsig by Teubner, over a century ago.

While I was working seriously on my own transformational-generative grammar
of Hellenistic Greek, I worked through their materials -- over a
quarter-century ago, shortly before Linke published some major
fragments of Dionysius Thrax (which I have consequently never read).

Based on an increasingly dim memory of their work, I would say that they
did virtually nothing with what we are talking about in terms of either
aspect or Aktionsart. But I would defer to the judgment of anyone who
has read these two more recently than I have.

Edward Hobbs

Wes asked: -------->>>>>>>>>>>>>> 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? <<<<<<---------

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