Relative Frequencies of Imperfect and Aorist Indicatives

T. V. Evans

in Verbal Syntax in the Greek Pentateuch

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780198270102
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683909 | DOI:
Relative Frequencies of Imperfect and Aorist Indicatives

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This chapter's assessment of Pentateuchal usage is essentially a study in statistical syntax. More precise analyses of the linguistic contexts in which these hundreds of imperfects and thousands of aorist indicatives occur, and of relevant issues in translation technique, are likely to demand some nuancing of the argument. Given these qualifications, the conclusions here must be regarded as preliminary. Yet it seems that at the macro-level, the solution to the puzzle of low imperfect frequencies in the Greek Pentateuch. The discussion attempts to show that the essential nature of the phenomenon as the manifestation of a Hebraism. Available statistics for extra-Biblical Greek appear to demonstrate a decline in the frequency of the imperfect relative to the aorist indicative during the post-Classical period, especially in the vernacular language. The actual function of the imperfect remains unchanged.

Keywords: imperfect frequencies; free Greek features; statistical syntax; translation technique

Chapter.  6506 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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