Following the modern zeitgeist of aspect theory, I typically view the non-indicative moods as NOT marking/morphologizing time, but only grammaticalizing aspect (again, perfective, imperfective, stative aspects). This explains why the imperfect is subsumed into the present (both being imperfective in aspect) and the pluperfect is subsumed into the perfect (both stative in aspect) since there is no grammaticalized time to distinguish each pair.
there is no grammaticalized time to distinguish each pair.
Would you mind elaborating on or clarifying this. What seemed immediately foreign to my thinking was your comment
there is no grammaticalized time to distinguish each pair.
Would you agree with the following 2 sentence?
Perfect and Pluperfect. The Pluperfect will be prior to the Perfect IN TIME.
Present and Imperfect. The Imperfect will be prior to the Present IN TIME.
In essence, I would be tempted to state that the pairs, distinguished by their morph also, are distinguished primarily by TIME.
Were you making a different point altogether?
As a side note, you mentioned the nature of Aspect in relation to the Future Indicative. Since the event to happen in the Future has not taken place (indeed it may not happen), I think it is disqualified for conveying Aspect. This would hold with all Futures.
The future outside of the indicative is kind of marginal in Koine, and it does not really fit neatly into the aspectual system. It does not even fit cleanly as a pure tense, since, as with many future-referring forms in other language, there is a modal flair to its meaning. So the future sometimes behaves like a non-past perfective, sometimes like a future, and sometimes with a modal value of purpose or expectation. This may be due to its mixed origin. Though it's still somewhat unsettled in the literature, the category appears to be a merger of old short-vowel aorist subjunctives and desideratives, both featuring a sigma coincidentally (I do not take an either-or approach).
Whatever temporal and modal senses the future has, it does not really fit cleanly into the present-aorist-perfect aspectual system of verbal stems. It seems to me that during the paradigm building phase of the Greek verb system, ultimately realized in Classical Greek, the future stem was an attempt to integrate grammaticalized time more fully into the system, but the effort was incomplete and never really took. It's just part of the messiness of human language. (Modern Greek would later replace the synthetic classical future with a fully aspectualized future construction, which I find to be more "logical" or at least more systematic.)
Stephen Carlson: It seems to me that during the paradigm building phase of the Greek verb system, ultimately realized in Classical Greek, the future stem was an attempt to integrate grammaticalized time more fully into the system, but the effort was incomplete and never really took. It's just part of the messiness of human language.
nicholasj.ellis wrote:If that's the case, and I'm not missing something, that's less messy than I anticipated. Essentially, since the aorist can't support the weight of irrealis etc., the future has to shoulder that load by itself, rather than offloading it to the Aorist in the non-indicative.
nicholasj.ellis wrote:(Morphologically, the only thing keeping this system from being 'clean' is the Future's use of the imperfective stem, rather than the perfective stem. If someone has insight into that particular historical development I'd be most grateful!)
Mike Aubrey's original response wrote:It sounds like you're ending up in the right place. Future forms, cross-linguistically, tend toward muddledness. This is true even in English, where on the one hand the form clearly denotes Future tense in its most prototypical usage, but on the other hand it actually eixsts functionally and paradigmatically in the Modal system. In terms of the actual formal features, English is a language with a past vs. non-past verbal system, even though we native speakers clearly (and rightly) recognize having past, "present" and future tenses.
In terms of Greek, there are two views of the original of the future. It's either derived from the Proto-Indo-European desiderative suffix *-s which looked identical to the current aorist and subjunctive forms. Or its derived from the aorist or aorist subjunctive. Despite the views of some, there is no consensus on the question, though many of the desiderative people like to think there is. Jo Willmott's The Moods of Homeric Greek (2005) gives a recent argument against the desiderative hypothesis. Personally, I'm inclined toward David Lightfoot's observation in his 1975 monograph Natural Logic and the Greek Moods, when he said that there is really no clear way of choosing between the two historical options.
But all of that, in a sense, is water under the bridge. For the Koine period, what really matter is how the native speakers comprehended the form who, when learning the language as toddlers, don't get any of that history explained to them. The system is recreated every generation. Ontogeny does indeed recapitulate phylogeny, but which phylogeny? That is to say, the process of language learning parallel the process of language evolution, but there are multiple paths of grammaticalization to get to a Future tense: Modals, Perfectives, lexical items denoting movement, temporal adverbs, etc.
All of this connects closely to the question tense in relationship to mood. We like to make a big deal of the fact that there's no past tense outside the indicative in Greek, while ignoring the fact that the past tense isn't possible in non-indicative moods for English either. We cannot say "You should went to the store for milk" any more than a Greek could." But like Greek, we can say "You will go to the store for milk" and without a context not be sure whether the sentence is referentially future referring (go there tomorrow), imperative (commanded to go there), or modal (obligated to go there).
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