Thesis on

With the posting of the second portion of background/prefatory material to my thesis, I have officially uploaded my thesis to

If you’re a Greek student/scholar. I would encourage you to read to the two posts dedicated to discussing my thesis. This is because it’s not a work that’s oriented toward biblical scholars to classicists. It’s a work by a linguist for linguists. The two posts I’ve put up here on my blog are designed to provide some orientation for people whose primary interest is Greek rather than linguistics proper.

Part I: Challenges in language analysis: thesis prefatory material

Part II: Thesis Prefatory Material: A Narrative Account

My thesis is available on here:

The Greek perfect and the categorization of tense and aspect: Toward a descriptive apparatus for operators in Role and Reference Grammar

Note: Even if it hasn’t finished being converted to Scribd, you can still download the pdf.

9 thoughts on “Thesis on

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  1. Mike,

    Finished it today. Good stuff. But in appendix B, your overview of Greek, where does the future “tense” lie? It seems you pretty much ignore it…

    As for my e-mail: I think I’m beginning to see the difference but it is a nuance more than a difference…


    1. Okay…now I’ll admit that I did forget about your e-mail this time.

      I’m inclined to view what is traditionally called the ‘future stem’ as a theoretical construct of Indo-Europeanists of the past few centuries. In terms of solely looking at morphological structure *in the Koine period*, I don’t think the future sigma is semantically distinct from the aorist sigma. I think they’re just together a perfective aspect sigma. Future time reference, then, arises entirely from a combination of perfective aspect sigma+non-past subject agreement endings.

      There’s a lot that could be said on that (and you’ll note that I gave the future it’s own place in the figure on page 149), particularly in terms of things like infinitives. But all of that goes well beyond the purposes and goals of the project. It’s something I have every intention of working on and writing about in the coming years.

    1. Well, I came to the conclusion primarily from looking at morphological structure. But there is, at least typologically, some external foundation. The Russian future tense is effectively formed the same way: non-past morphology + perfective aspect. Bhat’s book, The prominence of tense, aspect, and mood makes similar statements about futures, too. As for Greek, that’s harder. R. H. Robins in his the Byzantine Grammarians discusses the schema for tense-aspect distinctions in Stoic grammar and claims that they treated the aorist the future as ‘undefined’ in terms of aspect. But I haven’t spend enough time digging down the trail of research to draw any firm conclusions, but it does fit with Dionysius Thrax’ statement that the aorist is related to the future. Most tend to file this under folk etymology and discount it as irrelevant to historical questions, but in terms of understanding the mental representation of the verbal system of a particular period of the language, folk linguistics is a very useful thing indeed!

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