Re:Re: The aorist!!

From: John M. Tait (
Date: Wed Nov 25 1998 - 18:27:38 EST

Jon Robertson wrote:

>With regard to the seeming similarity between the aorist and perfect
>tenses, while there certainly is some overlap I think a major
>difference can and should be maintained. It seems to me that the
>perfect is best seen as describing a "state" (much like Porter and
>surely others have stated), while the aorist gives the "simple" (or
>"snapshot") view of the action itself. According to this view, then,
>the perfect would be much more interested in the state of the subject
>and less in the aktionsart. The aorist would be an aspectual choice
>of the speaker/writer to refer to the action in the most general way
The explanation of the difference between perfect and aorist which I
learned was that the perfect tense is actually a present tense, referring
to the result of the past in the present (ie: present tense + perfect
aspect, its past tense being the pluperfect) and the aorist a past tense
referring explicitly to the past (past tense + aspect - decision pending
the results of this discussion!) Has this view also bitten the dust? Or
perhaps it is a different way of saying the same thing.

John M. Tait.

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