tense names

Exploring Albert Rijksbaron's book, The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek: An Introduction, to see how it would need to be adapted for Koine Greek. Much of the focus will be on finding Koine examples to illustrate the same points Rijksbaron illustrates with Classical examples, and places where Koine Greek diverges from Classical Greek.
Bill Greig
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tense names

Post by Bill Greig » November 6th, 2014, 12:40 pm

I am self studying NT Greek using Mounce's course, asnd Eric Jay's gramma r(a) jay records the existense of a Pluperfect tense, while Mounce does not: Does the tense in fact exist or does Mounce use a different name? (b) I seem to have lost my key to the exercises in Jay: can anyone enlighten me where I can buy one?

Stephen Carlson
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Re: tense names

Post by Stephen Carlson » November 6th, 2014, 4:45 pm

My Mounce is still packed away, but I don't recall a different name for the pluperfect. I can't remember whether he treats it towards the end or just ignores it.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Wes Wood
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Re: tense names

Post by Wes Wood » November 6th, 2014, 9:55 pm

I have one of the older editions of BBG and Mounce mentions the pluperfect by that name in 25.24, but I don't know if the content has been changed since.
Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

Stephen Hughes
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Re: tense names

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 6th, 2014, 10:40 pm

Bill Greig wrote:Does the tense in fact exist ...?
Yes it does exist is the simple answer. Here are a few thoughts about it and the future perfect.

The pluperfect is relatively uncommon in Greek even in the classical period. It is morphologically about as complex as verbs come. Most people are content to understand the Greek pluperfect as a grammatical equivalent of the English past perfect (I had done), and in many ways that is not a bad understanding and quite adequate for most purposes.

Here are some examples of the pluperfect in the sense of an action completed before the past tense in a narrative. The first one is taken from Burton (1900) page 44ff (page 63ff in the pdf);
John 9:22 wrote:ἤδη γὰρ συνετέθειντο οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι,
For the Jew(ish leader)s had already made a decision,
Matthew 7:25 wrote:τεθεμελίωτο γὰρ ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν.
because it had had its foundations built on the rock
In addition to that equivalence to the English past perfect, the pluperfect also describes a state that used to exist - at a translation level English renders this type of past tense state as a simple past, but the Greek verb system uses a pluperfect with these verbs. Here are two of the examples that Burton gives;
Luke 4:41 wrote:ὅτι ᾔδεισαν τὸν χριστὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι.
because they [the demons] knew that he was the Christ.
John 18:16 wrote:ὁ δὲ Πέτρος εἱστήκει πρὸς τῇ θύρᾳ ἔξω.
Peter stood (a stative) outside beside the door.

As for the name, I originally learnt the name of this tense as plusquamperfectum - the tense's Latin name - but as you know that the unguided paths of head-strong teenage self-taughts sometimes wander into unusual areas of the subject. Later when I went to on to study Greek with a teacher in a class with a textbook, it became obvious that the common name in English is pluperfect. When I went to University to study Classical Greek, the lecturers were aware of the Latin term, but didn't use it. The Greek name for the tense is ὑπερσυντέλικος.

I have never used the book, but on the assumption that Mounce's textbook is a popular / paperback work, it is unlikely that he would use the Latin or Greek terms. There is no other name that I am aware that it is known by in the English speaking world.

It could be that it has been deemed an intermediate level piece of grammar and has been skipped over. As a test of that, perhaps you could look for the future perfect in the index. That is an even rarer perfect tense than the pluperfect. The only true example I know of that future perfect tense is Luke 19:40 in the Byzantine text-form (≈ Textus Receptus);
οἱ λίθοι κεκράξονται.
, in this place the modern scholarly texts have the simple future οἱ λίθοι κράξουσιν. The difference in meaning could be "If you were to keep yourselves silent, the rocks will have already cried out." vs. "If you keep yourselves silent, then the rocks will cry out." Usually, however, the future perfect is made up of two words (periphrasis), examples of which are found at Hebrews 2:13 and Matthew 18:18.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

RandallButh
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Re: tense names

Post by RandallButh » November 7th, 2014, 3:16 am

The verb κεκραξαι is funky funky. So you can call it a future perfect but it is more like a funky future. Do a concondance search of the verb in the LXX +/- Josephus.

Stephen Hughes
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Re: tense names

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 7th, 2014, 3:55 am

RandallButh wrote:The verb κεκραξαι is funky funky. So you can call it a future perfect but it is more like a funky future. Do a concondance search of the verb in the LXX +/- Josephus.
嗯! Its conjugational pattern is full of funkiness. Only the present / imperfect has the κράζ stem... .

I see your point, an Alexandrian regionalism is being interpreted in terms of the standard dialect, which produces an anachronous parsing of the verb. Apart from this anomaly, how well is the future perfect attested in the un-Atticised secular literature, if you're aware?
Last edited by Stephen Hughes on November 7th, 2014, 4:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

RandallButh
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Re: tense names

Post by RandallButh » November 7th, 2014, 4:11 am

I think it's mainly an extension of verbs that like the perfect naturally.

e.g., εἴσεται can be called future perfect, but it is really just a future to οἶδεν.
τεθνηξεται (I wouldn't expect this word with the απο prefix in future perfect but haven't checked)
μεμνησεται

Stephen Hughes
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Re: tense names

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 7th, 2014, 4:14 am

So, it is a regional tendency, not just a regional form.

That being said, how have other explained the form in Acts 24:21, where the eclectic text has the regional form, and the Byzantine text, the standard? Extended regional or that the Byzantine text-form is conglomerate.
Acts 24:21 (Byzantine 2005 Text) wrote:ἢ περὶ μιᾶς ταύτης φωνῆς, ἧς ἔκραξα ἑστὼς ἐν αὐτοῖς, ὅτι Περὶ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν ἐγὼ κρίνομαι σήμερον ὑφ’ ὑμῶν.
Acts 24:21 (Eclectic text) wrote:ἢ περὶ μιᾶς ταύτης φωνῆς, ἧς ἐκέκραξα ἐν αὐτοῖς ἑστὼς, ὅτι Περὶ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν ἐγὼ κρίνομαι σήμερον ἐφ’ ὑμῶν.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: tense names

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 7th, 2014, 4:27 am

RandallButh wrote:I think it's mainly an extension of verbs that like the perfect naturally.

e.g., εἴσεται can be called future perfect, but it is really just a future to οἶδεν.
τεθνηξεται (I wouldn't expect this word with the απο prefix in future perfect but haven't checked)
μεμνησεται
The future of ἕστηκα / εἱστήκει would be (irregularly from this present pattern under discussion) be σταθήσεται, right?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

RandallButh
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Re: tense names

Post by RandallButh » November 7th, 2014, 5:49 am

'he will stand' is also στήσεται.

The verb for intransitive 'stand' is a little strange because it has both ἕστηκα εἱστήκειν AND ἔστην in its common usage.

Just one more funky verb.

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