Re: Perfective uses of OIDA

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Feb 14 2000 - 19:33:22 EST

At 5:31 PM -0500 2/14/00, Mike Sangrey wrote:
>OIDA is used in the GNT almost exclusively in either perfect or pluperfect
>tense. Why such a natural emphasis on completed action?
>Future: once
>Present: 5 times
>Perfect: 261
>Pluperfect: 33

OIDA is a very that only appears in the perfect tenses, the present perfect
tense serving the function of a present tense in the sense "I know" and the
pluperfect serving the function of an imperfect. Some textbooks actually
describe OIDA as a present tense even though its morphology is obviously

What you're calling "future" is actually a Future Perfect (EIDHSW)--and
quite frankly, I'm wondering where you're getting the five instances of
what you call a present tense. I tried asking AcCordance for present tense
forms of OIDA in the GNT and got what I expected, a blank. The older LSJ
refers to EIDOMAI as a present tense form of OIDA but it doesn't really
bear any meaning that relates obviously to OIDA, and if you were going to
count forms of EIDOMAI,then you might as well count all aorist forms of
EIDON, as this too comes from the root FEID/FOID/FID (where "F" is for
digamma, the ancient "W" that survived in inscriptions in some dialects).

OIDA, insofar as it actually represents a "completed" action means
something like "I have a full-formed mental vision." You might compare
hESTHKA the perfect tense form of hISTAMAI: the present hISTAMAI means "I
am coming to a standing position"--but the only way to say "I am standing"
is hESTHKA, which means "I have reached standing position and am in it."

I really am curious as to what forms you are counting as present tense
forms of OIDA.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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