Re: Is TEMPUS A Part of Greek Grammar?

From: Ed Gorham (
Date: Fri Sep 24 1999 - 07:08:18 EDT

It's important to remember that those who write about aspect don't even
agree on how it operates. It is still a (relatively)recent concept that, by
all accounts, needs further study.

S. Porter, coming from a liguistic point of view, holds that time is not
grammaticalized, not even in the indicative. But I don't believe that he
goes as far as to say that we ought to dispense with the idea of
temporality. He simply says that is not grammaticalized in the verbal form
itself. He points to other temporal indicators, context, lexis, etc. as
places to go for that information, though he himself does not fully explore

Fanning, coming from a pragmatic point of view, agrees with Porter in a
broad definition of aspect, but goes further in examining how these other
indicators combine with the unaffected sense of a particular tense to
communicate an idea. Dan Wallace also seems to adopt a similar position.

A helpful book in this regard is Biblical Language and Linguistics: Open
Questions In The Curent Debate, edited by Porter and Carson, with
contributions from them as well as Silva, Schmidt and Fanning. Sheffield is
the publisher. Rod Decker also has a wonderful paper on his website that
deals with this.

-Ed Gorham

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