[b-greek] Re: In response to Aspectual only change

From: yochanan bitan-buth (ButhFam@compuserve.com)
Date: Fri Nov 17 2000 - 10:36:44 EST

>What are you suggesting Randall? That Hellenistic is not aspect only?

Of course Hellenistic Greek wan't ONLY aspectual.
I consider it self-evident that the indicative aorist and imperfect marked
the PAST reference of two different aspects.
On the other hand the Greek verb system was about as aspectual as it can
get, since even imperatives and infinitives have aspect encoded in the

>Was Greek ever aspect only?

'Ever' is a long time. Our morphology shows an aspectual base within our
current indicative tense forms but that does not mean that in some
proto-stage of the language there was necessarily an 'aspect-only' system.
A proto-pre-historical stage could have had something that has been
regularized and not survived. For example, look at the island 'fossil' of a
handful of -k- aorists like "edwka" 'I gave'. Let's just say that
historical Greek has indicative tense marking on an otherwise highly
systematic aspectual base. Again, I think that has always been self evident
and accords with what Greeks themselves correctly perceived.

Randall Buth

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