On Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The so-called "tenses" of the subjunctive, optative &
> imperative are, of course, timeless, i.e. not tenses in the
> linguistic sense; but there were no timeless indicative tenses.
I'm working through Greek: An Intensive Course to try to get some more of
this language's endless grammar in my head, and every so often it says
things like "the tense in the infinitive is aspectual."  It hurts my brain,
because that's not what *tense* means.

But I get their meaning.  It's just a clunky way of talking about it.

It reminds me a bit of classical Hebrew, in which tense isn't marked but
aspect is.  I suppose aspect is more fundamental than tense.

In fact, I can't think of a language that marks tense that doesn't *also*
mark aspect.  I can think of a few that mark aspect but not tense (Chinese,
for example).

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