THE GREEK VERBAL SYSTEM AND ASPECT PROMINENCE – JETS 59/1

Biblical Greek morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
MAubrey
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Re: THE GREEK VERBAL SYSTEM AND ASPECT PROMINENCE – JETS 59/

Post by MAubrey » August 19th, 2016, 12:45 pm

RandallButh wrote:Hey, nice links to Tevye and "Tradition".
And maybe pass on to Nick "we'll have to discuss combinative vs. resultative around a campfire sometime."
I'm sure you'll have a chance to grab him at SBL this fall--a good discussion over your steak annual, perhaps!
RandallButh wrote:PPS:
(whispering) psst! .... the accent, on what should be λέλυκε.

and for a natural word καλῶ, the other final forms resolved the *ε with a natural word, like ἐκάλουν (same page) instead of *ἐκάλεον.
(Dionysios discussed the verb classes using natural words: "περισπωμένων δὲ ῥημάτων: ... νοῶ νοεῖς νοεῖ, ... βοῶ βοᾶις βοᾶι, ... χρυσῶ χρυσοῖς χρυσοῖ, [writing with adscript and without accents in his spelling tradition.)
I'll put these in my grammar writing notes.
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

nicholasj.ellis
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Re: THE GREEK VERBAL SYSTEM AND ASPECT PROMINENCE – JETS 59/

Post by nicholasj.ellis » August 22nd, 2016, 12:30 pm

On a more minor terminological quibble, why did you choose 'combinative' as an aspect name, after using semantically based names for the two primary aspects?
I would have thought that something like 'resultative' or some other semantically based name would have provided more congruence.

While 'perfect' can be defined and used as a name for the third Greek aspect, I can appreciate a desire to distance the name from the name of the first aspect, perfective.
And I can also appreciate that 'combinative' includes the complexity and the morphological double marking that developed in Greek. But singly marked stems were at the first stage core of development and a semantically-based name is able to group together variant morphologically based names and complex development.

Hence, my suggestion above. I wish we could have discussed more before your publication.
Greetings, Randall. Thanks for the comments, insightful as always.

On the "combinative/perfect/stative/resultative" terminology: yes, this is definitely still a work in progress, and yes, I wonder if a semantically focused term wouldn't be useful. My reasons for the move away from "perfect" were (a) as you noted, to differentiate between the "perfective aspect", but also, as we argue in the article, because it uses what is a historically tense-based category (perfect vs pluperfect) and transfers it to the aspectual category. Thus, we're caught in a bind, using "perfect" for the aspect label, "perfect" for "non-past perfect aspect", and "pluperfect" for the "past-perfect aspect". Better to have a distinct aspectual label, and avoid the double problems above. I believe we discussed this after the Runge-led ETS session last year, and wish we could have followed up further before the publication. Mike didn't love the term, for sure; I'm not sure that by the time of publication we'd found an adequate alternative.

For now, I'm treating the "combinative" label as a means of indicating an event that is in a sense perfective in its event, but with ongoing relevance temporally subsequent to the event. If we can find a better term that encapsulates the various semantic nuances of this aspect I'll be interested in seeing how we can continue to improve our terminology. Not perfect and not stative, to my points above and those in the article. Maybe resultative (semantic focused), maybe combinative (historical/morphological), maybe something else. In any case, here's hoping that we can "get it right"; I know I speak for my other authors as well, that we aren't committed to "being right".

I'll look forward to further conversations. And you're always welcome at my fire. Any plans on being in the States this fall? I'm planning on being in Idaho mid-October, fires allowing.

RandallButh
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Re: THE GREEK VERBAL SYSTEM AND ASPECT PROMINENCE – JETS 59/

Post by RandallButh » August 22nd, 2016, 1:05 pm

Hmmm, and on the other hand, following up Mike's reference to Tevye:

combinative, too, can be called semantically based (+perfective, +imperfective),
although it doesn't name which semantic features are being combined.

Between completive and resultative, I would prefer resultative since a result implies on-going relevance and since 'completive' could more easily be a synonym for the linguistic tech-term 'perfective'.

nicholasj.ellis
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Joined: June 22nd, 2011, 7:01 pm

Re: THE GREEK VERBAL SYSTEM AND ASPECT PROMINENCE – JETS 59/

Post by nicholasj.ellis » August 22nd, 2016, 1:16 pm

Between completive and resultative, I would prefer resultative since a result implies on-going relevance and since 'completive' could more easily be a synonym for the linguistic tech-term 'perfective'.
Me too. :-)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: THE GREEK VERBAL SYSTEM AND ASPECT PROMINENCE – JETS 59/

Post by Stephen Hughes » August 23rd, 2016, 4:33 am

MAubrey wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:The second question is why the basic unit of speech used to determine prominence was the morphology of verbs? Within a paragraph, every sentence has mood, and the tense is most often quite clearly known. Is Bhat's model usually applied to or determined from the smallest units of language?
Bhat's model is interested more in how the categories are expressed rather than merely if they're expressed. He's interested in degrees of grammaticalization, obligatory-ness, and paradigmaticity.
That makes sense then. There is an unspoken tension in the article between Bhat's model, and what the speaker of another language needs to be careful of or need to adjust for.

Even though it is tense that is differentiated at the single word level - get, got, gotten - it seems to me that overall English speakers go out if their way to express mood far more than Koine Greek speakers did. I think that if a Koine Greek speaker had to learn English, they would over compensate on aspect, as might be expected from your article, but i think they would also have a lot of trouble mastering the "would", "might" and "could" of English. They might find the over-use of "it" a little flat too. I realise that your article alludes to, but doesn't address learner difficulties, but rather a particular model. It seems that learner difficulties might be a way to test the validity of the model.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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