Periphrastic Tense Forms

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:
Periphrastic Tense Forms

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Periphrastic tense forms are a recognized feature of the Greek verbal system from the language of Homer through to the Modern period. Yet their analysis involves both major theoretical difficulties and an inescapable element of subjectivity. The Pentateuchal periphrases are of special interest for their relationship to the underlying Hebrew. This chapter treats the theoretical debate, in particular the contribution of Porter, and establishes the definition of periphrasis which guides the present analysis, before moving to detailed discussion of actual examples. Verbal periphrasis is defined here as the combination of auxiliary verb plus participle or infinitive as near equivalent to or replacement for a synthetic tense form. According to this definition, there are total of sixty-eight examples in the entire Greek Pentateuch. This small quantity displays both independent Greek usage and Hebrew interference. Over 57% of examples closely imitate similar Hebrew expressions.

Keywords: tense forms; verbal Periphrasis; rare periphrases; auxiliary verb; subjectivity; Porter

Chapter.  13436 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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