Re: Is TEMPUS A Part of Greek Grammar?

From: Brian Swedburg (
Date: Thu Sep 23 1999 - 15:06:16 EDT

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<p>Jim West wrote:
<blockquote TYPE=CITE><i>&nbsp;Is</i>
<br><i>>time grammaticalized in Greek?</i><i></i>
<p><i>It certainly is.&nbsp; How shall we conceive of a language which
has no reference</i>
<br><i>to temporality?&nbsp; Are we to visualize a timeless universalism
in which every</i>
<br><i>action is present and every truth relativized to some sort of timelessness?</i><i></i>
<p><i>I cannot even begin to imagine what such a language would sound like-
<br><i>can I imagine what meaning words would have removed from time and
placed in</i>
<br><i>some sort of utopian never-never-land (with apologies to the fans
of Michael</i>
<br><i>Jackson who are fond of the never-never-land ranch).</i><i></i>
<p><i>Sometimes I get the feeling that the more bizarre an idea is, the
<br><i>popular it will be.&nbsp; And, to me, it is simply bizarre to suggest</i>
<br><i>a-temporality when it comes to language.</i>
<p>Jim and others, greetings</blockquote>
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As I noted previously, I am
just a "little greek" , so I toss this thought out with a sense of humor.&nbsp;
Last year when we studied aspect and aktionstart, along with probing the
question of whether or not time is grammaticalized in the verb's morphology,
I had the same basic objection as Jim to considering the verbs of a language
not being temporal.
<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As I pondered this in my
studies, I realized that American Sign Language does not grammaticalize
time in the verb.&nbsp; Seperate signs are used to indicate whether the
verb is present, past, future, etc...&nbsp; This does not prove anything
concerning greek, It just opened the door to my considering the possibility
that a language can indicate time through means other than the verb itself,
in a given phrase.
<p>Just a thought.&nbsp; Thanks,
<br>M.A.E.T. Student Western Sem.


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