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Verbal Aspect, the Indicative Mood, and Narrative

Soundings in the Greek of the New Testament


Constantine R. Campbell

Verbal aspect in Ancient Greek has been a topic of significant debate in recent scholarship. In this book, Constantine R. Campbell investigates the function of verbal aspect within New Testament Greek narrative. He argues that the primary role of verbal aspect in narrative is to delineate and shape the various ‘discourse strands’ of which it is constructed, such as mainline, offline, and direct discourse. Campbell accounts for this function in terms of the semantic value of each tense-form. Consequently, in the search for more effective conclusions and explanations, he challenges and reassesses some of the conclusions reached in previous scholarship. One such reassessment involves a boldly innovative approach to the perfect tense-form.


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Chapter Five: The Future Tense-form 127


CHAPTER FIVE The Future Tense-form 1. Introduction The tense-forms investigated within the chapters to this point have been seen to encode aspectual qualities at the level of semantics that are accepted by the majority of contributors. As has been pointed out in those chapters, the present and imperfect indicatives encode imperfective aspect, and the aorist indicative encodes perfective aspect. While the evaluation of the semantic feature of tense is a debated issue with these tense-forms, aspect is not. As we begin to investigate the future tense-form, however, we acknowledge that this uniformity of opinion regarding aspect dissolves. Some contributors claim that the future tense-form encodes perfective aspect, others claim that it is capable of both perfective and imperfective aspectual expression, while yet others claim that the future is non-aspectual, or aspectually vague. Alongside the debate concerning this aspectual ambiguity, there is also debate at the level of temporal reference. While most contributors affirm the future temporal reference of the future indicative, and regard such temporal reference as a semantic quality, there are others who are not so convinced. The burden of this chapter, therefore, is to seek clarity in terms of the aspect of the future indicative and to examine the validity of its supposed future temporal reference, while keeping in view the usage of the future within text, and issues related to morphology and historical development. 2. Future usage and function 2.1 Luke Luke employs 312 future indicatives, all of which are found within direct discourse, without exception. VERBAL...

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