From that perspective, I would generally agree. But the same is equally true of aspect, to some degree--which is why Moises Silva argued in much of his response work on aspect in the 90s that lexemes must be taken into account. Likewise, it is true that "he ran" cannot be used in in place of "he is writing," but at the same time, depending on how a speaker wants to present the event of running to his/her audience, the speaker *can* make a choice between presenting running as a basic activity: "he ran," or an accomplishment: "he ran to the lake." Both are constrained by the grammatical system and the speaker's conception of reality, but neither objectively represent reality. With that said, the more abstract predicate classes/aktionsart types tend to be more constrained by the external world. This is especially true of Achievements (Lightening flashed in the sky) and semelfactives (The audience clapped for the orchestra). States and Activities are more easily manipulable by speakers. But I suppose, in favor of your point, this fact itself is lexically constrained since States and Activities also tend to involve more basic predications expressing more low level situations--that is, "being" and "doing" are directly derivable from basic components of human cognition: the perceptual system (being) and the motor system (doing) (<-- ooh, that would be great as an article in the journal Cognitive Linguistics...).RDecker wrote:Let's not absolutize the rejection of objective language altogether. It is true in a **relative** sense that verbal aspect (perfective, imperfective, etc.) is *more subjective* than Aktionsart in that Aktionsart is more dependent on the lexeme chosen to describe the action/situation. I can use almost any of the aspects to describe a particular situation, but the nature of the event constrains me in some significant ways when it comes to Aktionsart. I cannot chose to use "he ran" in place of "he is writing." But in another sense, yes, both aspect and Aktionsart are subjective to some degree.
I'm must apologize if I seemed to suggest that it was good to simply change things independent of debate. My advocacy of such a terminological change is more practical than that: both the terms Situation Aspect and Predicate Class are methodologically and theoretically transparent in their meaning in a way that aktionsart never was (unless you were German). The same can be said for the term Actionality that Stephen has suggested. To my mind, their transparency provides them with an inherent usefulness for making the categories themselves more accessible than they have been previous. If anything, I would even been perfectly fine with a variety of terminology being used (Simon Dik's Functional Grammar uses the term "State-of-Affairs") as long as the term itself is transparent so that readers can relatively easily recognize that we're talking about the same thing.RDecker wrote:A different term would not be unwelcome, but let's not assume it's a done deal just from discussion on this list. Nor can it be an "unfriendly" term if it's going to gain acceptance from the "mainstream" users and not just linguists and some NT scholars. Aspect has undergone a healthy debate for over 20 years now. Aktionsart has not had that benefit. Even though Fanning's work was largely about Aktionsart, that portion of his work has been too much ignored. There is certainly other work, but nothing that has received sufficient attention to provide any consensus regarding definition, terminology, or significance. We need that debate first before we declare terminology here. We could use a few good dissertations or at least some substantive journal articles to help put things in focus. The back-and-forth, snippet-level discussion here won't accomplish much in the bigger picture.
Beyond that, I would venture to say that in general the categories for aktionsart are rather well defined in the broader linguistic literature. For linguistics that debate has been going on for some time, even if it hasn't in Koine studies, but I know (and partially understand) your view toward cross-linguistic and typological linguistics and its applicability to Greek and recognize that you are more cautious about it than I am. I've had similar discussion with Larry Perkins over here at Trinity Western on the subject.