Monday, April 04, 2016

What about that imperative?

OK, tighten your grammatical belts. For the next week or two we'll be excerpting from W. F. Bakker, The Greek Imperative: An investigation into the aspectual differences between the present and aorist imperatives in Greek prayer from Homer up to the present day. As you probably guessed by the long title, it's a dissertation : )

I'm not so sure but what he isn't finding what he wants to find, but some of his ideas are fascinating. He makes a distinction between Ancient Greek, by which he means Classical, Koine, and Modern Greek—yes, he follows the imperative all the way to 1950s Greece. We'll start with the Classical instances. Here's the first:

Generally said, by means of the present stem the speaker wants to make it clear to the hearer that, in view of the nature and content of the action he is performing, he wishes him to stop it, and that “right now.” When using the aorist stem, however, he only says that the action should be discontinued.—The Greek Imperative, page 40

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