05.1 Present Indicative: Temporal Location

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.

05.1 Present Indicative: Temporal Location

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 5th, 2013, 4:12 pm

We now get into Rijksbaron's part II of his book, entitled "The Main Uses of the Single Moods and Tenses in Independent Sentences."

Section 5 is devoted to the present indicative, and subsection 5.1, the focus of this topic, is about its temporal location:
Rijksbaron, p.9 wrote:The present indicative signifies that the state of affairs is located at the moment of utterance; the state of affairs continues through the moment of utterance:

(4) τί κάτησθε, ὦ Πέρσαι, ἐνθαῦτα ...; ('Persians, why are you sitting here?', Hdt. 3,151,2)
(5) ὁ δ' ὦμος οὐτοσὶ πιέζεται ('My shoulder here is stuck,', Ar. Ra. 30)


After this clear and apparently unequivocal statement, R. walks it back somewhat with a set of exceptions in Note 1:
  • The present indicative can be used with completed sayings and perceptions.
  • The following verbs: ἥκω, φεύγω, ἡττῶμαι, τίκτω.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)
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Re: 05.1 Present Indicative: Temporal Location

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 5th, 2013, 4:16 pm

As far as I am aware, I don't think there's any major difference between Classical and Koine Greek in the use of the present.

There is a different in theoretic orientation, and R. more than most unabashedly explains the present indicative in temporal terms. Look at his definition:
Rijksbaron, p.9 wrote:The present indicative signifies that the state of affairs is located at the moment of utterance; the state of affairs continues through the moment of utterance:

The first defines the present indicative as a present tense, and the second statement as an imperfective aspect. I think the order is intention and shows his sense of priority.

R. is aware that is insufficient, even apart from Note 1. Other uses of the present are covered in 5.2 and 5.2 and the historical present is covered in section 7.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)
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