[b-greek] Re: Varieties of the Aorist

From: B. Ward Powers (bwpowers@optusnet.com.au)
Date: Thu Nov 01 2001 - 18:39:40 EST


>Carl Conrad wrote:
>>It seems to me that IF we can teach students even now that that "aorist
>>active" comes in three varieties represented by EPAIDEUSA, ELABON, and
>>EGNWN ...

What Carl says here is absolutely spot on.

So let us go the next step, and recognize what this means.

1. In Greek there exists a First Aorist (represented by EPAIDEUSA, in
Carl's example, though most of us would have learn it by ELUSA, from LUW),
a Second Aorist (example: ELABON), and a Third Aorist (example: EGNWN).

2. The pattern of conjugation of this Third Aorist is in many respects
similar to, but in some forms different from, both the aorist flexions of
the First Aorist and the Second Aorist, and therefore linguistic analysis
tells us that it has to be recognized as a distinct pattern of conjugating
in its own right.

3. Other verbs which follow this Third Aorist pattern include:
         (a) hISTHMI (ESTHN), -BAINW (-EBHN), DUNW (EDUN)
         (b) all aorist passives (both those with -QH- like ELUQHN, and
those which lack the -Q-, having only the -H-, such as EGRAFWN, from GRAFW)
         (c) all active pluperfects (including both "regular" verbs forms
such as (E)LELUKEIN, from LUW, and such as HiDEIN, from OIDA)

4. We should note that in the aorist active, the Third Aorist endings (-N,
-S, zero, -MEN, -TE, -SAN) are suffixed directly to the word's root (with
the vowel lengthened); in the passive these same endings are suffixed to
the passive morph -QH- or (for 30 NT verbs) -H-; in the pluperfect these
endings are suffixed to the pluperfect morph -EI-.

5. This Third Aorist pattern occurs only in the indicative mode, plus the
(rare) optative aorist passive, of which the LUW form would be LUQEIHN.

6. The -SA- in the third person plural form (as in EGNWSAN) is not the same
as the -SA- in the First Aorist pattern - it occurs not only in this Third
Aorist form, but in the endings for the passives and the pluperfect.

7. The current standard teaching of the Grammars is to describe the aorists
of verbs such as EGNWN, ESTHN, -EBHN and EDUN as "Second Aorists" - even
though they do not follow the pattern of actual Second Aorists (such as
ELABON). This description is linguistically unsupportable and in fact
invalid. Rather, we should recognize that this EGNWN-type flexion is a
distinct flexion pattern and we should designate it Third Aorist - and then
we can note, additionally, that "the Third Aorist active pattern of flexion
endings is also taken by all indicative passive aorists, and by the
pluperfect active and the optative aorist passive". This will stop
confusing students by telling them that EGNWN-type aorists are "Second
Aorist" when anyone who compares the EGNWN flexion with ELABON can plainly
see that they are different.

Those with access to a copy of my "Learn To Read the Greek New Testament"
will find a great deal more about the characteristics and use of the Third
Conjugation (of which the Third Aorist is part) in sections 6.53; 7.7,
10.27-10.29, and the whole of Appendix C3.

Here's hoping that what can be clearly discerned by linguistic analysis
(viz, the existence of the Third Aorist in Greek) will henceforth be
adopted in the explanations given for aorist forms. What are the chances
that this is likely to happen?



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM NSW 2049 email: bwpowers@optusnet.com.au
AUSTRALIA. Director, Tyndale College

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 - 15:37:11 EDT