[b-greek] Re: Mk 10:21

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Tue Aug 29 2000 - 21:34:25 EDT

Hello Rolf,

Thanks for your comments.

on 08/29/00 3:49 PM, Rolf Furuli wrote:

>> Clayton Stirling Bartholomew wrote:
>> In Mk 10:12 we read:
>> The lexical semantic data on hUSTEREI indicates that it specifies a STATE.
>> This is a property of the word as it is used in the GNT.
>> What difference would if make in the meaning of this statement if hUSTEREI
>> was inflected as a imperfect or an aorist?
>> --
> Dear clay,
> The meaning signaled by a verbal phrase is a combination of several
> factors, of which aspect is one. As you yourself have suggested (if I
> remember correctly), aspect is a subjective expression by the reporter, and
> it does not allways portray the objective situation correctly.

This sounds more like something that SE Porter would say. I would agree that
there is probably very little correlation between the objective situation
and the aspect but I would stop at that point and say no more.

> Because the
> aspects are not different in every respect, both the perfective and the
> imperfective aspect can be used for the same event without any difference
> in meaning. Particularly can this be the case in connection with states,
> which by definition are situations which hold and continue to hold without
> any input of energy.

No difference in meaning? Really? What a relief! That is just what I have
been wanting to hear. Did you guys (Cindy included) hear that? There is no
difference in meaning.

>So it is not an argument aginst the importance of the
> aspects that you cannot find a particular reason for the choice of aspect
> in every case.

I don't remember any argument in my post (quoted above) it was just a

> However, to understand the aspects,it can be of great help to learn how we
> can make a strict differentiation between what is "semantic meaning" (which
> is uncancelable) and "conversational pragmatic implicature" (which is
> cancelable). Regarding the fundamental Aktionsart/state categories Mari has
> shown ( and I fully endorse it) that only three properties represent
> "semantic meaning", namely durativity, dynamicity and telicity. The
> properties statitivy and punctiliarity only represent "conversational
> pragmatic implicature". A lack of appreciation of this has lead to gross
> misunderstandings. This means that a verb which is marked for telicity can
> never loose this property, but a punctiliar or stative verb can also be
> interpreted as durative and fientive respectively. The imperfective aspect
> can be used to show that a verb which in most cases is viewed as a state,
> in this particular situation is an act. I would therefore dispute that
> stativity is "a property" of hUSTEREW. Perhaps the use of the present in Mk
> 10:21 makes hUSTEREW fientive, or perhaps the choice of aspect does not
> make any difference because the verb is viewed as a state.

Rolf the terminology in this last section is just more than I can bear.
How are we supposed to make sense of a paragraph that includes little gems

"conversational pragmatic implicature"
"semantic meaning" (a tautology is it not?)

Thanks for your comments. Perhaps some of the other people who have read
Mari's stuff and understand this terminology can respond to this better than
I can.

BTW, I have been following your discussions on b-hebrew with Randall. Very

Thanks again,


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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