Re: The Mysterious Disappearance of Verb Aspect

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Sun Apr 12 1998 - 09:24:21 EDT

Rolf Furuli wrote:
> So I often have to ask which aspect is used, and
> then the student takes a new look and can figure out the finer nuances of
> the text, because aspect can be a strong tool for the communication of
> these finer nuances.

Yes Rolf,

But I am very suspicious of finer nuances. In my meager and inadequate
experience, most of these finer nuances simply disappear under close scrutiny.
That's why I think of them as ghosts.

I am continuing to wade through Fanning, but the whole enterprise seems to be
flawed by starting out with the wrong overall picture of the situation. I have
already stated what I see as the fundamental problems with this model several
times so I will not press the patience of the b-greek crowd any further.

You know listening to these discussions of verb aspect reminds me of a man
named Herb, who I chat with in Seahurst Park several times a week. Herb grew
up fatherless in Germany in the late 30's. His virtual family was Hitler
Youth. Herb left Germany in 1945, but now over fifty years later he still
views almost everything through the paradigm of "race". His world view is
orderly and all the pieces fit together quite well. The problem is the major
paradigm is questionable.

I have a similar problem with Fanning on Aspect. Fanning uses a large number
of examples to substantiate his case. But many of the examples fall apart if
you simply question his assumptions. In other words if you do not accept his
model, the examples don't look very impressive. I don't really think that
strong evidence is made up of a large quantity of weak evidence. You cannot
build a strong case buy simply multiplying examples which could be interpreted
three or four different ways.

I will continue reading Fanning because it is a book worth reading. But I am
less and less convinced by his argument as I progress through the work.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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