MAubrey wrote:The cognitive linguistic view of such phenomenon as the historical present would say that this is not one. In cognitive linguistics historical present is a unique semantic-pragmatic construction where the speaker conceptualizes a past event as if it is currently taking place. Thus the deitic center is still the speaker (as is standard for the present). Those who hold that the historical present represents a challenge for a tense view of the language on the basis of the historical present and similar constructions commit the mistake of accepting a direct one to one relationship between language and reality. It's a non-prototypical usage, but it still fits falls within the bounds of the schema.
Thanks, Mike. I don't really have a problem with explanations of the HP that propose shifts in the deictic center/perspective time/orientation time or whatever the theorist wants to call it. From a tense perspective, I don't think it's problematic but it is unprototypical. From an aspect perspective, I think the HP is more of a challenge because we get a bunch of telics and their endpoint / culmination point / entry into a state / telos
is (I think, clearly) in view. This conflicts with the typical sense of the imperfective, where the telos
is not in view, and makes the HP look more like an aorist than a present.
My immediate difficulty with εἰσίν in Matt 2:18 is that it is stative and I'm not aware of a (rigorous) theoretical treatment of the HP that works with states.
MAubrey wrote:This example here in Matthew does not fit the criteria. It's just bad Hebrew to Greek translation. Perhaps Battles is a little myopic in his categorization to not deal with such issues of translation Greek.
Battle also claims that there are 8 more cases of an HP εἰμί in Relevation (9:19; 14:4a, b, 6; 16:21, 21:16, and 22), so he does not seem to be aware of the claimed restriction by classical Greek grammarians that state verbs are not found in the HP. I don't think we're looking at translation Greek but, granting that, its Greek is not the most idiomatic in the world.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala