Teaching Greek without Tense

I’ve recently been thinking about how one would go about introducing students a spacial, rather than temporal, view of the Greek verbal system, though as I have said earlier, temporality, itself, is a form of spacial distance.

With that in mind, I think that were I to be teaching on the verbal system, I would have at least one introductory lecture on proximity and remoteness (and probably also aspect) before actually discussing individual forms. Discussions about the actual forms of the verbs would likely continue to place an emphasis on temporality simply because the spacial expression of time is the most common use of proximity in Greek (and indeed English as well – “you cannot go back in time”). Hopefully the fact that the class has already had a lengthy discussion about spacial distance & aspect will prevent students from forgetting that time is not primary, but only a functional result of proximity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s