[b-greek] Re: Aorist Tense (correction)

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 16 2000 - 11:30:51 EST

Michael Haggett just called my attention to an unfortunate mis-statement in
my response to Russell Rankin earlier this morning:

At 8:19 AM -0600 11/16/00, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>At 2:25 AM -0600 11/16/00, RUSSELL RANKIN wrote:
>>RE: Aorist Tense in Koine New Testament Greek
>> . . .
>>Is the Aorist an ambiguous tense that cannot be rendered accurately because
>>it is so indefinite in time?
>Not really; as I've said, the indicative aorist usually does refer to the
>past; it bears an augment regularly and that is generally said to be an
>indicator of past time on an indicative verb. Where there may be ambiguity
>is with an aorist in one of the non-finite moods: infinitive, participle,
>subjunctive, optative, imperative. And even there, one can learn to make
>appropriate distinctions in context.

Although I did mean to say that tense is not necessarily or at all a
significant factor in the aorist infinitive, participle, subjunctive,
optative, and imperative, I certainly never intended to imply that
subjunctive, optative, and imperative are FINITE verb-forms,i.e. forms that
bear endings to distinguish number and person; it's the infinitive and
participle that are more commonly termed "non-finite" verb forms.

Sorry for adding unnecessary confusion when trying to formulate a
meaningful but still very general answer to a very general question.


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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