Bedside Reading

Last night as I was reading by lamp light before rolling over and going to sleep, I picked up Albert Rijksbaron’s The Syntax and Semantics of the Verb in Classical Greek: An Introduction: Third Edition.

One thing jumped out at me:

Rijksbaron views Fanning’s Verbal Aspect in New Testament Greek (Oxford Theological Monographs) to be a very important book — and there is absolutely no reference to Porter at all.

He writes,

As a cover term for [lexical] features like ‘durative’, ‘terminative’ etc. the German word Aktionsart (lit. ‘action character’) is often used. Thus, βασιλεύω is said to have a durative aktionsart, etc. The relationshipbetween aspect and Aktionsart is discussed extensively in Lyons (1977: 705ff.). For Greek, Fanning (1990) is particularly useful, especially Ch. 3 ‘The effect of inherent meaning and other elements on aspectual function’. In Rijksbaron (1989) I have presented a typology of verb meanings which in a number of respects resembles that of Fanning.

If we were to choose views on aspect by references to actual linguists (i.e. Rijksbaron is a linguist [Functional Grammar]) rather than NT scholars, the score is:

Fanning: 1
Porter: 0

4 thoughts on “Bedside Reading

  1. I really don’t understand why Fanning’s book hasn’t been issued in paperback; I would think there’d be enough demand to justify that, and surely there must be others like myself who would like to read this book but aren’t going to shell out $240 for it.

  2. Have you read Mari Broman Olsen’s book (based on her PhD thesis) A Semantic and Pragmatic Model of Lexical and Grammatical Aspect? I can’t remember what her stance was on Fanning versus Porter, though.

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