Two Books on Verbal Aspect

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Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby Peter Streitenberger » June 5th, 2011, 6:27 am

Dear List-Members,

after reading "Basics of Verbal Aspect" (Constantine Campbell) I ordered:

- Verbal Aspect and Non-Indicative Verbs: Further Soundings in the Greek of the New Testament
and
- Verbal Aspect, the Indicative Mood, and Narrative: Soundings in the Greek of the New Testament

Both books haven't arrived yet, but I'd be interested, if anyone has read these both books already and is able to tell something about them.
Thank you...

Have a nice Sunday !

Yours
Peter, Germany
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Re: Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby MAubrey » June 7th, 2011, 3:46 pm

Hi Peter,

These two books together are essentially Con Campbell's Ph.D. dissertation. They're well written, but this is not introductory material. And I'm quite sure Con has changed his views somewhat since the two volumes were published.

To be honest, there are no dissertation level monographs on this subject that I could satisfactorily recommend. The major players for Koine Greek are:

Buist Fanning
Stanley Porter
Mari Olsen
Con Campbell
K. L. McKay

These five have produced monographs that are (relatively) comprehensive in terms of the scope of their discussion of the verb (McKay's being the only full syntax of the verb for Koine). And while there's consistent agreement on some issues, there is no agreement on many others, so much so that its difficult to recommend a single volume on the subject.

Other scholars who have published related monographs include:

Rod Decker
T. V. Evans
David Mathewson.

Of those three, I can recommend Decker's and Evans for the quality of their scholarship--though they come to opposite conclusions on a number of matters. I haven't worked through enough of Mathewson to say anything for sure. The jury is still out. However, an article he wrote on the same subject prior to his book was *highly* disappointing and misrepresented those with whom he disagreed with.

A final book that doesn't get enough attention is Gerhard Mussies The Morphology of Koine Greek which covers all of the semantic issues discussed in these other volumes and is one of the best grammatical monographs I've read on Koine Greek.
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
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Re: Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 7th, 2011, 3:52 pm

MAubrey wrote:A final book that doesn't get enough attention is Gerhard Mussies The Morphology of Koine Greek which covers all of the semantic issues discussed in these other volumes and is one of the best grammatical monographs I've read on Koine Greek.


Is that this book?

The Morphology of Koine Greek As Used in the Apocalypse of St. John: A Study in Bilingualism

I never heard of it, this was the closest I could find on Amazon. It seems to be out of print.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby MAubrey » June 7th, 2011, 4:30 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:Is that this book?

The Morphology of Koine Greek As Used in the Apocalypse of St. John: A Study in Bilingualism

I never heard of it, this was the closest I could find on Amazon. It seems to be out of print.


Yep, that's the book. The title is deceptive because it appears to only be about the morphology of Greek in Revelation, but that's not quite the case. In order for Mussies to discuss the morphology of Revelation, he must first provide a thorough and comprehensive semantic-morphological description of the language in general as a baseline for comparing Revelation. The result is a nearly comprehensive grammatical description of Greek morpho-syntax.

It is, indeed, out of print. But there are a number of places to find relatively cheap (the original list price was: $108.00) copies online in both its published form and its original thesis form:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... gy&x=0&y=0
and:
http://www.antiqbook.com/search.php?act ... =&country=
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
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Re: Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 7th, 2011, 5:17 pm

MAubrey wrote:The title is deceptive because it appears to only be about the morphology of Greek in Revelation, but that's not quite the case. In order for Mussies to discuss the morphology of Revelation, he must first provide a thorough and comprehensive semantic-morphological description of the language in general as a baseline for comparing Revelation. The result is a nearly comprehensive grammatical description of Greek morpho-syntax.


I'm glad you're telling me that. I have completely ignored this book.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
Posts: 1466
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Re: Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby MAubrey » June 7th, 2011, 7:06 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
MAubrey wrote:The result is a nearly comprehensive grammatical description of Greek morpho-syntax.


I'm glad you're telling me that. I have completely ignored this book.


It's a great book. I refer to it regularly. To clarify what "nearly" means, though, Mussies only deals with a limited number of parts of speech--those that have inflectional morphology. And he doesn't deal with issues of semantics that go beyond morphology: e.g. the present and imperfect are imperfective aspect, but the syntactic and lexical conditions where such a verb would be interpreted as iterative or habitual are not discussed. This makes what he's done more similar to Porter's description than Fannings who discusses these conditions extensively.

Also, because of influence that phonology has no morphological paradigm, he also provides a short, but useful summary of Koine pronunciation that (independently) parallels Randall Buth's proposed system.
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
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Re: Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby Peter Streitenberger » June 9th, 2011, 5:45 pm

Dear Mike,

I've read Porter and Mathewson so far. Porter isn't very easy to understand, if you are not a native speaker. I had to read some passages severals times. Mathewson was quite nice.
I'm curious how Campbell's two volumes will be.
Thank you for all the information !
Yours
Peter, Germany
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Re: Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby MAubrey » June 9th, 2011, 6:12 pm

Peter Streitenberger wrote:I've read Porter and Mathewson so far. Porter isn't very easy to understand, if you are not a native speaker. I had to read some passages several times.


Porter is a hard read for any kind of speaker, native or not.

It sounds, though, like you're currently lopsided toward one side of the debate. I would encourage your to read the other side as well.
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
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Re: Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby Peter Streitenberger » June 9th, 2011, 6:34 pm

Dear Mike,
It sounds, though, like you're currently lopsided toward one side of the debate. I would encourage your to read the other side as well.


That is true on the one hand. I try to understand one side completely, that's why I've read these authors first. Right now I'm reading Rijksbaron's "Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek" - unfortunately not very detailed in this matter so far. Then I want to go further with alternative authors, but I've no clue which one gives the best answers to the ideas of Porter, Campbell et al.
Maybe you could give me a interesting suggestion?
Thank you in advance !
Yours
Peter, Germany
Peter Streitenberger
 
Posts: 115
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:45 am

Re: Two Books on Verbal Aspect

Postby MAubrey » June 9th, 2011, 7:49 pm

Peter Streitenberger wrote:Dear Mike,
It sounds, though, like you're currently lopsided toward one side of the debate. I would encourage your to read the other side as well.


That is true on the one hand. I try to understand one side completely, that's why I've read these authors first. Right now I'm reading Rijksbaron's "Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek" - unfortunately not very detailed in this matter so far. Then I want to go further with alternative authors, but I've no clue which one gives the best answers to the ideas of Porter, Campbell et al.
Maybe you could give me a interesting suggestion?
Thank you in advance !
Yours
Peter, Germany


Fanning is probably the most articulated alternative, but like Rijksbaron, does not dialog with Porter at all. Fanning's work was being written at the same time as Porter so they do not interact with each other. Likewise Rijksbaron is centrally focused on language description rather than on controversial questions (also the first edition of his book was published well before Porter).

In terms of responding to Porter's work, I would recommend Steve Runge's articles, papers, and blog posts and he deals with some of these issues in his recently published grammar. His blog posts summarize much of what it in his published works as well as in his academic conference papers: On Porter, Prominence, and Aspect. McKay is somewhat in the middle between the two views, though his book A New Syntax of the Verb in New Testament Greek is hard to come by. And then there's a absolutely scathing review of Porter's monograph/dissertation in the 1995 volume of Mnemosyne written by C. J. Ruijgh. T. V. Evans in his book Verbal Syntax in the Greek Pentateuch also presents a critique of the tenseless view of Ancient Greek.

Part of the challenge is that much of the criticism of the tenseless view has not appeared in books, but in journal articles. And thus, its largely unaccessible to most new students who are beginning to come into the debate. There are a journal articles in the journal Filologia Neotestamentaria, but I'd have to look up their titles that would be relevant.

I've also (relatively recently) posted here on B-Greek a list of issues that hold me back from accepting a tenseless view of the language. You are more than welcome to read them and comment on them, if you'd like: Remoteness & Tense (which reminds me, I need to reply to Randall Buth's most recent words there).

I hope that's helpful. Currently, both sides have dug themselves in for the duration and I doubt any agreement will be arrived at for many, many years to come unfortunately.
Mike Aubrey
Canada Institute of Linguistics & Trinity Western University Graduate School
MAubrey
 
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