Re: (longish) The Mysterious Disappearance of Verb Aspect

Date: Tue Apr 14 1998 - 13:19:12 EDT

Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 11:21 AM -0500 4/14/98, wrote:
> >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....
> But proof to the contrary will not deter you from thinking it. Whether one
> calls it "common sense" or not, the prevalent view is that the AUGMENT
> (whether the "syllabic" placement of an E- before the verb stem, or the
> "temporal" lengthening of an initial vowel of the verb stem) on the
> indicative of an imperfect, aorist, or pluperfect marks it definitively as
> referring to past time.

I affirm your assertion that yours is the prevalent view, and agree
that the augment is a past indicator. You do not agree with me that
the Sigma always indicates the future, nor that the Alpha is privative
and abstracts "Time" from the classic aorist 'tense'. If ALL linear
time is covered by the non-aorist tenses, then what is left for the

It's that simple...


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