[b-greek] for rolf, Re: These two positions don't even seem close

From: yochanan bitan-buth (ButhFam@compuserve.com)
Date: Mon Aug 28 2000 - 12:59:41 EDT

egrapsen rolf,
>Read Mari's book, point out weaknesses in her methodology, and
>give a linguistic explanation of her and Porter's examples of non-past

Thank you for the note.

***But first, one major point of SOLID agreement:
I see Greek as one of the mostly purely aspectual languages around. The
language lives and breathes aspect. You can't do anything in that language
without commiting yourself aspectually all the time. That is what students
need to absorb and if they absorbed and controlled that, no one would much
care about the indicative parameter, it takes care of itself with its
little augment 'thingy'. I also agree that it is almost a CRIME to call the
"imperfective/continuative/in-process/open-ended" a "PRESENT". It just
confuses students no end and it will be a better day when that stops.

Now, some solid disagreement:
Fanning has already presented an adequate rebuttal to Porter (and the '93
summary book has already mentioned) and I have other books to write that I
am behind on.
What your 'suggestion' hides is the massive amount of pages and data that
such a repetititve task would entail.
That might be worthwhile if I thought there was still a question. As
perhaps too flexibly-minded a linguist also acquainted with the data first
hand, I have read, studied and am linguistically unimpressed with the
"absolute non-temporal Greek position". [ I've still not read Absolutely
Sweet Marie (are we rolling, Bob?). Jerry Katz says that if the semantic
theory can't explain common sense it's almost not worth reading. If someone
sends Mari, though, I'll look through it for distinctive ideas and/or

Randall Buth

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