[b-greek] Re: present active indicative

From: Mark Wilson (emory2oo2@hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Mar 12 2001 - 20:52:16 EST


You wrote:

>My question deals with the impact the mood has on the tense. Does the
>indicative alter the normal force of the present tense? For instance, this
>comment was made by a gentleman: "Observing that in the present indicative
>no clear distinction can be drawn between ongoing action and so-called
>'punctiliar' action as is possible in the imperfect and aorist
>indicative.." he then quotes A.T. Robertson (p. 864).

I may not understand your question. You ask if the Indicative "alters" the
normal force. To me, to "alter" something means to change it from state A to
state B. But the Present Tense / Indicative Mood is all part of the same
morphological ending, is it not? In other words, you can not have a Present
Tense, then ADD an Indicative to it, thereby altering its original meaning.
Once you encode the Present Tense, you have encoded the Mood as well.

But I think it is true that the Present Tense itself, in any Mood, does NOT
denote "ongoing" or "punctiliar" action. That would be determined by the
nature of the word being used (lexeme, i.e., Lexical Aspect), as well as the
context, as you say.

Then, you ask:

>This is followed by (in the following paragraph), "Thus, while it is true
>that in moods other than the indicative the present tense denotes
>continuing action, in the indicative mood itself no distinction can be
>drawn from the mood between the action which is continuing and the action
>which is not."

No. I do not think the Mood contributes to a word's Lexical Aspect. I can
think of plenty of Subjunctive Mood / Present Tense verbs that are NOT
continuing action.

I think I have somewhat missed the force of your questions. Keep an eye out
for other responses.

My thoughts,

Mark Wilson

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