[b-greek] Verbal Aspect follow-up

From: Mark Wilson (emory2oo2@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Nov 09 2000 - 14:42:23 EST


As to Wayne and Dr. Decker's earlier comments:

I think I should restate my concern this way:

All human beings, regardless of geographical isolation or linguistic
limitations, innately think (conceptualize) in terms of past, present, and
future. This is innate to the human soul, regardless of societal norms. Or,
are you saying this is not the case?

Now, I am NOT denying that Koine Greek may indeed be an Aspectual language
(even to the extent that Porter claims), I am simply saying that such a
language is counter-intuitive to the way humans innately think. This is not
an English, Spanish, or any other language specific claim. Language is
simply a vehicle manufactured to express our conceptualizations. And whether
or not you speak English, Swahili, or one of the African clicking languages,
we all initially conceptualize in terms of past, present, and future.

I would think a linguist would jump in here :o )

So, in conclusion, if Greek were a non-temporal based verbal system, it
would necessitate a tremendous strain on its citizens since it runs counter
to the human phenomena of "conceptualization." This is not to say that
humans can not also think in terms of an event in progress or complete, but
that is a secondary conceptualization.

I really am trying to determine if Porter is right and, what appears to be
the case, the majority of other grammarians (including Hellenistic
grammarians!!) are wrong.

For example, I believe Wallace and Fanning clearly acknowledge the aspectual
nature of the Greek language (as do most other grammarians), but not to the
extent that the verbal system by itself (without deictic indicators) is
incapable of temporal reference. Why impose limits on the way we think?

I must admit, I would think a temporal based verbal system would be
comparatively "advanced" to a non-temporal based verbal system, simply
because non-temporal based systems have more limitations and, therefore,

If this is a bit off the B-Greek topic, feel free to respond OFFLIST.

Thank you,

Mark Wilson

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