Matthew 3:2

/////////////////////////////////////////// New Testament Re: Matt 3:2 μετανοεῖτε

Posted: 19 Sep 2012 12:32 AM PDT


Let me try to distinguish some concepts. Most linguists today adopt a bidimensional aspectual system that distinguishes “aspect” (a.k.a. grammatical aspect or “viewpoint” aspect) and “Aktionsart” (a.k.a. lexical aspect or “situation type” [Carlota Smith] or “procedural characteristics” [Buist Fanning]). Outside of Biblical Greek grammarians, there is a tendency to limit the term “Aktionart” to the Slavic-type use of prefixes to change the situation type/procedural characteristics of a verb.

Also, lexical aspect is disfavored as a term because in many languages, the situation type depends on what kind of objects and other arguments are used. Thus, “I walked in the park” is of one situation type (atelic), while “I walked to the park” is another (telic).

The distinction between aspect and Aktionsart seems necessary because Activities (in the Vendlerian sense) do not have an inherent bound (so they are atelic) but they are easily bounded temporally, e.g., John pushed the cart from noon to one.

Robertson was of a time that did not clearly distinguish between these concepts and tended to use the terms synonymously. Those who adopt a unidimensional approach to aspect (i.e. aspect = Aktionsart) tend view the grammatical forms as converting from one Aktionsart/aspect to another.

So, when you ask questions like “3.) If Aspect is it telic or atelic.”, it puts the question in the camp that conflates aspect and Aktionsart. Telic and atelic refer to Aktionart values, but your question is explicitly about “Aspect.” Under the modern approach, this shows a merger of two distinct categories.

There two basic aspectual (i.e., viewpoint) values: imperfective and perfective. Some linguists would add a perfect, and for some languages, even a prospective aspect seems appropriate.

There are several Aktionsart features. One is telicity, whether the situation is inherently bounded. Another is durativity, whether the situation is punctual (virtually instantaneous) or durative (longer lasting). Another is stativity, whether the situation describes a state or something changing. These all interact with grammatical aspect and produce different interpretations. Statistics: Posted by Stephen Carlson — September 19th, 2012, 3:32 am

/////////////////////////////////////////// New Testament Re: Matt 3:2 μετανοεῖτε

Posted: 19 Sep 2012 12:06 AM PDT

Scott Lawson wrote:

“3.) If Aspect is it telic or atelic.”

Mike Aubrey wrote: “How could you ever make an imperfective telic?”

Scott Lawson wrote:

“3.) Here may be a good instance of Here is fine instance of speaking more English than I understand. Thanks! You’ve reminded me that both the present and aorist are imperfective. Right?” Mike Aubrey wrote:

“No, the present is imperfective. The aorist is perfective. I know its confusing. Personally, I’d prefer to drop the terms “present” and “aorist” entirely. Things get confusing really fast with both of them depending on what mood we’re talking about.”

So my question about telicity may still apply? Right? Mike you had me backpedalling and second guessing myself about the aorist being perfective…

My wife Laura (Yay me, I got remarried about a month ago!) is of the opinion that you wiley linguists can get your three wishes from those devious genies without any unwanted consequences… Statistics: Posted by Scott Lawson — September 19th, 2012, 3:06 am

/////////////////////////////////////////// New Testament Re: Matt 3:2 μετανοεῖτε

Posted: 18 Sep 2012 11:08 PM PDT

Mike you say; “This leaves me in the awkward place where I have to ask: “What do you think Robertson’s conception of Aktionsart was?”” Mike, it is a revelation to me that there is debate about what Robertson says/means by Aktionsart. I consult Robertson for my NT grammar questions but I also have the smallest Wallace on my iPhone and I note that his presentation of aspect and the imperative is very much what Carl describes. So I guess I’m not sure how Robertson is using it except that upon reflection it seems the same as Carl and Wallace… Statistics: Posted by Scott Lawson — September 19th, 2012, 2:08 am

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