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Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 12th, 2017, 3:08 pm
by Michael Sharpnack
What would you recommend for a good introduction to the topic of tense and aspect in the Greek verb? I would like something readable and introductory level, as I am a beginner, and don't have really any understanding of it - or linguistics in general. Or, would you recommend I stay away from the topic..?

I found this thread: https://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vi ... f=19&t=175, and read through it, but left feeling more confused...

Thanks,

Re: Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 12th, 2017, 6:01 pm
by MAubrey
I would recommend Albert Rijksbaron's book as the best starting point:

The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek: An Introduction: Third Edition

Most of the New Testament stuff that currently exists has too much baggage (we're trying to change that, but writing is slow).

Re: Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 12th, 2017, 6:20 pm
by Robert Emil Berge
I second MAubrey's suggestion. This is the best source I have seen for understanding how the Greek verbs work. It is systematic and clear about a topic which seems to be chaotic without any order to it. If you haven't yet learned about all the verb forms in whatever beginner's course you use, I would perhaps advice you to wait a bit before you read it. It is not a shortcut to the most basic stuff, and be careful not to be confused, since its approach is a bit different from most other treatments of the subject. But still, at the time when you have started learning about conditional clauses and such things it could be very helpful for understanding how tense and aspect actually work.

Re: Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 13th, 2017, 9:41 am
by Jonathan Robie
I third the suggestion.

I think Rijksbaron is clearer than most NT grammars on this subject. Unfortunately, his examples are from the classics, and may not be easy for beginners. If you start reading through Rijksbaron, I would be happy to generate sets of New Testament examples for whatever section you are reading at any given time, and we can discuss it here. I had started a discussion of Rijksbaron once upon a time, we could do it there.

Re: Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 13th, 2017, 1:30 pm
by Eeli Kaikkonen
We have a whole subforum dedicated to Rijksbaron, but it withered.

I wish Robert Binnick rewrote his Time and the Verb: A Guide to Tense and Aspect. Nowadays it's old, too expensive and probably hard to find. A 2nd edition would be required reading for theoretical base. Just look at the table of the contents (should be available in google books or amazon.com).

Re: Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 15th, 2017, 6:47 pm
by Michael Sharpnack
Thanks for the suggestion. I just ordered the book; when I start reading it I'll let you know, and would love to discuss it on the subforum.
Robert Emil Berge wrote:
May 12th, 2017, 6:20 pm
If you haven't yet learned about all the verb forms in whatever beginner's course you use, I would perhaps advice you to wait a bit before you read it.
I have done a first year primer, and am halfway through Decker's reader now, but that's the extent of my knowledge.

Re: Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 15th, 2017, 11:12 pm
by Michael Sharpnack
Also, how do you guys feel about Black's book: "Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek"? I was thinking of picking that up as well.

Re: Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 16th, 2017, 10:46 am
by Jonathan Robie
Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
May 13th, 2017, 1:30 pm
I wish Robert Binnick rewrote his Time and the Verb: A Guide to Tense and Aspect. Nowadays it's old, too expensive and probably hard to find. A 2nd edition would be required reading for theoretical base. Just look at the table of the contents (should be available in google books or amazon.com).
Is anyone familiar with The Oxford Book on Tense and Aspect, which Binnick edited? It was published in 2012.

Re: Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 16th, 2017, 10:54 am
by Stirling Bartholomew
Michael Sharpnack wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 11:12 pm
Also, how do you guys feel about Black's book: "Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek"? I was thinking of picking that up as well.
Somewhat overrated IMO. I like Black's works in general and find nothing wrong in the linguistics book but it doesn't get you very far into the discipline. If someone wants to explore linguistics some particular framework needs to be chosen as a starting point. My problem with linguistics is like Peter J Williams problem with the Septuagint. "There is no it."

Re: Introduction to tense and aspect

Posted: May 16th, 2017, 10:56 am
by Eeli Kaikkonen
Michael Sharpnack wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 11:12 pm
Also, how do you guys feel about Black's book: "Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek"? I was thinking of picking that up as well.
It's not very useful. It's too old and too thin. There's not much linguistics in it. It's still nice secondary source for beginning Greek students but not necessary.