Re: (longish) The Mysterious Disappearance of Verb Aspect

Date: Tue Apr 14 1998 - 12:21:00 EDT wrote:

> Linear time assignments are ALL accounted for already.
> And we are finding ourselves putting it in the present, in the past,
> in the future, depending on context, grammar and syntax, and we find
> the same verb form 'denoting' all three times!! So we boldly go forth
> where 'no man hath gone before' into aspect theory and aktionsart ~
> Yes?? All in an effort to track down this pesky roadrunner named Mr.
> Aorist IN time. It won't happen... The only place for an Mr. Aorist,
> when ALL linear time is fully accounted for, is in the FACT of an
> action, without any time designation at all. It is the aorist that
> gives 'time' a timeless dimension. Therein lies its power.
> The 'tense' verbs are the talons on the text, keeping the reader in
> the grip of the ongoing narrative, whereas the aorist is the wings,
> giving the horizonless perspective of timelessness. It can be as
> mundane as the street vernacular, "I GO to this bar last night
> and...", and as sumlime as "God so LOVES the world..." And YES, it is
> true, that God DID love [loved] the world, but the text does NOT use
> the Perfect Tense here. It uses the wings of the aorist. And it can
> be as subtle as the interplay between it and the ongoing present of
> Acts 10, where Paul takes the reader right into the mind of Peter.
> The aorist EVOKES memories and imagination[s]. Such is its power,
> range, subtlety and complexity... And its SIMPLICITY.
> It is NOT understood this way by today's scholarship. It should be.

Just a small additional note, and I will get off this pulpit...

When a single verb form, the Aorist, is as at home in the past, "I GO
to church last week and guess who was there?", as it is in the present
ongoing [imperfective] "I GO to church now.", as it is in the future,
"I go to church tomorrow.", as it is in all three combined, "I GO to
church every Sunday.", then we can safely conclude that it is NOT the
verb form that is providing ANY linear time designation. Those
designations are provided by other factors of the text, not by the
Aorist. The Aorist, of itself, does not care WHEN, only THAT an
action occurs... If you want that action placed 'in time', you must
go elsewhere...

This is so obvious to me....


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