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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 Seven: The Pluperfect Tense-form 213


CHAPTER SEVEN The Pluperfect Tense-form 1. Introduction This chapter explores the semantic value of the pluperfect indicative tense- form and its function within narrative texts. The pluperfect is best described as functioning to provide offline material that supplements, describes, or explicates mainline action. As such, it is argued that the pluperfect is best understood as encoding imperfective aspect. Following this, the pluperfect is distinguished from the other imperfective tense-forms by its spatial characteristic of heightened remoteness. Finally, the pluperfect is used to test Porter’s model of planes of discourse. 2. Pluperfect usage and function 2.1 Luke Luke attests only 16 pluperfect indicative forms, of which 5 are pluperfects of oi=da, which represents 31.2 percent of pluperfects, and 3 are pluperfects of i[sthmi, which represents 18.8 percent of pluperfects, the two lexemes together accounting for 50 percent of pluperfects. These 16 pluperfects are found within both discourse and non-discourse; 6 occur within direct discourse, representing 37.5 percent of the total, as seen below. Luke 2:49 kai. ei=pen pro.j auvtou,j\ ti, o[ti evzhtei/te, meÈ ouvk h;|deite o[ti evn toi/j tou/ patro,j mou dei/ ei=nai, meÈ He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?’ VERBAL ASPECT, THE INDICATIVE MOOD, AND NARRATIVE 214 Luke 11:22 evpa.n de. ivscuro,teroj auvtou/ evpelqw.n nikh,sh| auvto,n( th.n panopli,an auvtou/ ai;rei evfV h-| evpepoi,qei kai. ta....

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