Thucydides wrote:Would it be fair to say that Homeric 'perfects' are in fact present statives?
Sec. 551, p.567 wrote:In G from the 5th century BC on, the perf. functions much like the NE phrasal verbs with auxiliary have (that is, action completed in the past but with implication of a continuing effect or state). The further step, the use of the tense as a simple past tense, the "historical perfect" or the "narrative perfect", is sometimes observed in Attic writers, and becomes common in the Hellenistic period. Ths amounted to a loss of a functional contrast between the perf. and the aor., which proved fatal for the perf.; in any case it disappeared except for a few survivals passing as aorist forms.
In Homer still, and also in the Rigveda (though less commonly), the prefect indicates the state of the subject. (A fuller definition - `PRESENT state of the subject' - is a misconception; 407 fn.)
Despite the immense (and obvious) antiquity of transitive statives like *woyde `knows' and *memone `has in mind', it is nevertheless repeated by respected authorities that the meaning of the perfect in Homer and the Vedas was typically intransitive.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests