[b-greek] aspect and participles

From: Wayne Leman (wleman@mcn.net)
Date: Sat Nov 25 2000 - 23:23:23 EST

Stephen Pegler asked:

> Porter defines the aspect of participles as +factive presupposition, but
> not explain what this means, especially in relation to his definition of
> infinitives as -factive presupposition. Is anyone aware of any work done
> this aspect of participles?

I'm not familiar with any work done specifically on factivity of Greek
participles, but there is a lot of linguistic literature on factivity, and
I'm sure Porter is using the concept in its standard linguistic usage, so
referencing any linguistic reference which explains factivity will help
understand what factivity means in Greek.

Linguistically, a factive verb is one which takes a complement (that is, an
"embedded sentence or proposition") where the speaker presupposes the truth
of the proposition expressed in the complement clause.

In Rom. 5:3:


the participle EIDOTES presupposes the truth of its embedded clause (i.e.
suffering produces perseverance). OIDA, just like its English translation
gloss 'know' is a factive verb (in Porters notation, +factive). Some other
+factive English (and likely Greek) verbs are: agree, realize, discover.

If however, the main verb were 'suspected', no truth of the complement
clause is presupposed so 'suspected' is -factive. Some other non-factive
(-factive) verbs are: believe, think, wonder, hope.

There is a third factive category, contrafactive which presupposes the
falsity of the proposition expressed by the complement clause, e.g. "I
pretended that Ralph Nader won the election." Another contrafactive verb is

I do not know if Porter considers both non-factive and contrafactive verbs
as -factive.

A fairly exhaustive linguistic dictionary should have an entry for FACTIVE.
To help me with this message, I used the entry in "A Dictionary of
Linguistics and Phonetics," by David Crystal.

You will probably also find more on factive verbs if you do an Internet
search on the keywords "factive verbs".

I hope this helps,
Wayne Leman
Bible translation site: http://www.geocities.com/bible_translation/

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jwrobie@mindspring.com]
To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-greek-327Q@franklin.oit.unc.edu
To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:36:42 EDT