Sorry I was unclear. As I had explained a bit in my earlier post, I am following my viewpoint that there is a focus time that can be shifted by both grammar and context, and that any time represented by verbs are relative to that. An aorist would be perfective and specify indefinite or past time, while a present would not specify aspect but would specify present time. An aorist infinitive in indirect statements (including reported speech) connotes past time relative to the time of the main verb, and likewise the present infinitive in indirect statements connotes present time relative to the time of the main verb. Apart from these, an aorist infinitive has no time connotation but has its perfective connotation, so it just denotes the bare completed event, while a present infinitive still denotes present time relative to the time in focus, in this case the time at which the event described by the infinitive is conceived to take place. Thus in effect there is no difference between the present infinitive and the aorist infinitive outside of indirect statements except that the aorist infinitive cannot have an imperfective connotation. It is therefore possible for an author to intentionally avoid the present infinitive whenever he wants a perfective connotation, but I don't think it would be the norm. Similarly the lexical aspect of the verb and the conceived aspect of the event may incline the author to use one or the other based on what Smyth says, but it may be just another partial influence.Stephen Carlson wrote:Thanks for your comments, David, and for reading the paper. I have to admit though that I'm thoroughly confused by your comments. We're talking about the future-referring μέλλω, so claiming that the present infinitive specifies "merely present time" and then that "the time of the infinitive itself" is "usually past time" makes absolutely no sense to me in context. If it's not aspectual but time-referring, then how can it be past, present, and future?!?David Lim wrote:Thanks for that. I notice that on page 12 he says "Markopoulos explains this phenomenon in a similar manner: the AOR.INF continued to denote perfective value, while the PRES.INF could be used for both perfective and imperfective.". As I said before, I too think that the present tense in Koine Greek does not specify imperfective aspect but merely present time, and not just in the infinitive. In the case of the infinitive, the time in focus is usually the time of the infinitive itself, which is usually past time, and hence this is one reason I said that it would be difficult to distinguish the present infinitive and the aorist infinitive when not in an indirect statement.
Back to "μελλειν", indeed I said at the start that it refers to the future with respect to the time in focus. I don't know if there is specific grammatical syntax for "μελλειν" that eventually disappeared in Koine Greek, so I can only speculate as to why the present infinitive is much more commonly used with it. But I was claiming that it is not at all unnatural as according to my view the present tense does not connote aspect at all. Anyway my speculation is that since "μελλειν" sets the event in the future where it has not happened yet, there is a tendency to conceive of it from the viewpoint of its starting time, in much the same way as some present participles can be used as attributive adjectives, which I explained earlier by saying that the time in focus is pulled to the time at which the event takes place.
Oh I was just saying that his quote of Markopoulos suggests that Markopoulos also thinks that the present infinitive can be used as a perfective, whereas I have been hearing others say that the present always denotes imperfective aspect. As you say, they did not propose anything similar to my view about time.Stephen Carlson wrote:I'm also confused by the "too" in "I too think," since I can't find any support in Voitila (whose article I linked to). In fact, the whole point of Voitila is to propose modal meanings for μέλλω. So while you're going the tense route, Voitila's going mood. Thus, I don't see any basis for the "too": you seem to be arguing for a completely different approach.
I don't know exactly what he is saying there, but according to my view, if the event with "μελλειν" is conceived as an inceptive imperfective as you say Ruijgh asserts, then it cannot be represented by the aorist which can only connote the perfective aspect. However, the converse would not hold, and so it is possible that the predominance of the present infinitive with "μελλειν" is not only due to aspect.Stephen Carlson wrote:I'm also frustrated by Voitila here in his representation of Ruijgh in context with Markopoulos. On the quote from page 201 (PDF page 12), he claims that Markopoulos is similar to Ruijgh, but he's not. In checking the references that Voitila cites, I find that Markopoulos does not cite Ruijgh at all nor does he test Ruijgh's theory of μέλλω. Yes, Markopoulos does state " when used as a complement of μέλλω, the Present Infinitive was aspectually neutralized, i.e. it did not have a specific aspectual value," but this is not really the view of Ruijgh, who refers the value of the present infinitive with μέλλω to an "inceptive" present, which has a well-understood aspectual interpretation as an imperfective, though Ruijgh did not lay it out explicitly.
Doesn't he mean that the event referred to is the point at which he finally stops living?Stephen Carlson wrote:Furthermore, Markopoulos and Voitila's interpretation of the aspectuality of the present infinitive leaves a lot to be desired since they confuse (at least to me) aspect and Aktionsart. For example, Voitila claims that 2 Macc 7:18 καὶ μέλλων ἀποθνῄσκειν ἔφη ("and when he was about to die he said") is "clearly perfective," but the action of dying is not complete since he was still able to speak. Voitila needs an analysis more persuasive than slapping the adverb "clearly" on a conclusion that begs the question.
Hmm what exactly would "imminent" mean? I thought all instances of "μελλειν" denote imminence or expectation?Stephen Carlson wrote:I'm rather intrigued by Ruijgh's proposal for the meaning of μέλλω with the various kinds of infinitives (all are relative futures, but the present infinitive is imminent), but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and I'll need to work through the examples to test it. I also need to test Voitila's modal hypothesis for μέλλω. At this point, my mind is not made up.