Re: Is TEMPUS A Part of Greek Grammar?

From: Jim West (
Date: Thu Sep 23 1999 - 12:14:20 EDT

At 08:56 AM 9/23/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Dear B-Greekers,
>After reading countless discussions on B-Greek about
>aspect and aktionsart, I am still engaged in
>researching this subject. I wonder, should we dispense
>with the term "tense" (TEMPUS) in Greek grammar?

We most certainly should not.

>time grammaticalized in Greek?

It certainly is. How shall we conceive of a language which has no reference
to temporality? Are we to visualize a timeless universalism in which every
action is present and every truth relativized to some sort of timelessness?

I cannot even begin to imagine what such a language would sound like- nor
can I imagine what meaning words would have removed from time and placed in
some sort of utopian never-never-land (with apologies to the fans of Michael
Jackson who are fond of the never-never-land ranch).

Sometimes I get the feeling that the more bizarre an idea is, the more
popular it will be. And, to me, it is simply bizarre to suggest
a-temporality when it comes to language.


Jim West, ThD
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