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Postby pster » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:42 pm


A. to be indeterminate, Arist.Pr.941b26.
2. to be without definite ideas, uncertain, Phld.Mus.p.48K., cf. S.E.P.1.28, Porph.Sent.33, Asp in EN74.27.
3. to be immoderate, opp. ἔχεσθαι ὅρου καὶ μέτρου, Epicur. Fr.465.

I would have thought that it would mean just the opposite. We use the aorist for determinate happenings (usually in the past) and the present for the indeterminate happenings. Can anybody shed some light?

Thanks in advance
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Re: ἀοριστέω

Postby cb » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:54 am

hi, this has to do with aspect, i.e. the aorist's punctual aspect. see duhoux's verbe grec ancien, s337: "L'absence de considération donnée par l'aoriste aux différentes étapes du procès explique le qualificatif d'ἀόριστος, "indéfini", qui lui a été donné par les grammairiens grecs anciens".

the aorist doesn't always express determinate happenings, e.g. the gnomic aorist: see will's article on aspect, pg 5:

cheers, chad
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