Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tense and time

"I have organized my analysis in terms of the central unifying and distinguishing feature of TAM [tense, aspect, and mood] systems: time. All three domains of TAM that are associated with verbal expression in world’s languages relate language to time and time to language. However, their precise relationship to time distinguishes among the domains: tense  has to do with the location of situations in time; the various types of aspect treat the structure of situations in time; finally, mood refers to alternative situations in relationship to time."—John Cook in Time and the Biblical Hebrew Verb (forthcoming from Eisenbrauns)

<idle musing>
There is a hot debate right now about time and tense in both Hebrew and Koiné Greek. Usually the definitions are not as nice and clear as John's. I'm having a good time reading the manuscript and can't wait for the book to be published. I don't know when it will hit the streets, probably late this year.
</idle musing>


Stephen C. Carlson said...

Why it just so that happens that I have been reading Cook's dissertation the other day, and it's pretty good. I was wondering if and when it was going to be published, and thanks to your post I now know the answer.

This is a good development. It will make a good contribution to the linguistics of aspect in Biblical languages.

jps said...


He has revised it so extensively that it barely looks like his dissertation anymore.


Mike Aubrey said...

It's true. I talked to him about it back in February. He's putting less emphasis on Bybee's tense-aspect work.