On Koinonia, Constantine Campbell blogged on the verbal aspect by way of introducing his book Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek. (By the way, it was nice of him to drop by my blog, and leave a comment on a review that I put together for his book.) Well, today’s was the fifth and the last of his posts on the verbal aspect.

Here’s a recap of each of the posts:

Post #1
By way of introduction, Campbell offers the simplest definition of verbal aspect: viewpoint. This view is perfective when the action is seen from the outside, and imperfective, if seen from the inside. This viewpoint describes the subjective choice, by which the action is given.

Why does verbal aspect matter? For assessing verbs and their usage.

Post #2
Verbal aspect is not tense. Campbell further stresses his view (a minority one, too) that tense is not built into Greek verbs.

Aktionsart, which is the “type of action,” speaks of how the verbal action takes place or carried out.

Post #3
The aorist tense-form is regarded as perfective in aspect, and provides an all-encompassing, or summary, view of an action.

The Aktionsarten of the aorist are punctilliar (happens once and is instanteous), and gnomic (universal and timeless).

Post #4
The present tense-form is regarded as imperfective in aspect, and provides the view from the inside. The historical present is one way to describe how an action is viewed as it is happening, as the action unfolds before ones’ eyes.

The Aktionsarten of the present are progressive (action in progress), stative (depicting a state), and iterative (repetition).

Post #5
Campbell offers examples of analysis the Aktionsart with this formulation: aspect (tense-form) + lexeme (transitive or intransitive) + context (kind of action) = Aktionsart.

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