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Re: Aorist

From:BP Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 21, 2000, 11:02
At 19:57 20.3.2000 +0100, Raymond Brown wrote:

>With the indicative it seemed to the Greeks that either we have something >happening (she is writing) or something that habitually happens (she >writes) or else we have a completed state (she has written it [and here it >is]). The first two are meanings of the so-called 'present stem' and the >third is the present of the perfect. It seemed to them that the present >indicative could not be undefined, hence there is only the past tense: >imperfect - past of of the present: she wrote (i.e. used to write), she was >writing >pluperfect - past of the perfect: she had written it [and there it was] >aorist - she wrote (once at some unspecified time) > >But the imperative shows the aspect clearer: >present - get writing, start writing (now) >perfect - have it written (rare :) >aorist - write! (no messing: just write!)
The problem of course being that in the indicative the aorist for some strange reason always refers to past time -- having an augment. In Sanskrit there are augmentless s-aorists, called Precatives, who in actual usage are indistinguishable from past-tense optatives. E.g. _budhyaat_ 'oh that she wakes up!' (the aorist s has dropped before the personal t ending, so that 3sg. doesn't become homonymous to 2sg.!) /BP "Doubt grows with knowledge" -Goethe