Francis G.H. Pang, «Aspect, Aktionsart, and Abduction: Future Tense in the New Testament», Vol. 23 (2010) 129-159
This study examines the treatment of the Future tense among the major contributions in the discussion of verbal aspect in the Greek of the New Testament. It provides a brief comparative summary of the major works in the past fifty years, focusing on the distinction between aspect and Aktionsart on the one hand, and the kind of logical reasoning used by each proposal on the other. It shows that the neutrality of the method is best expressed in an abductive approach and points out the need of clarifying the nature and the role of Aktionsart in aspect studies.
Aspect, Aktionsart, and Abduction: Future Tense in the New Testament 137
ASPECTUALITY + perfective (Aorist)
+ aspectual + imperfective (Present)
+ stative (Perfect)
2.3 Buist M. Fanning (1990)
Similar to the understanding of McKay and Porter, Fanning defines
aspect as a grammatical category that “reflects the focus or viewpoint
of the speaker in regard to the action or condition which the verb
describes”43. However, Fanning defines only two aspects: the internal/
imperfective and external/perfective aspects. The aspectual distinction
rests upon the reference point from which the action is viewed. If the
action is viewed from a reference point within the action, without
reference to the beginning or the end of the action then it is said to be
internal (imperfective). On the other hand, if an action is viewed from a
reference point outside the action, from beginning to end, then it is said
to have external (perfective) aspect44.
Following the work of Bache, Fanning prefers to use ‘procedural
characteristic’ to refer to what others considered as Aktionsart45.
Procedural characteristic involves:
how the action actually occurs; reflects the external, objective facts of the
occurrence; … usually expressed lexically, either in the inherent meaning of
the lexical form or in the derivational morphology (i.e. by means of prefixes
or suffixes which affect the meaning of the verb46.
Aspect is clearly distinguished from procedural character. Fanning
argues that a correct understanding of aspect requires the user to
understand both the basic meaning of the aspects and their function
in combination with other linguistic features, which include procedural
characteristics of verbs and actions47. Fanning uses the Vendler-Kenny
Fanning, Verbal Aspect, 84.
Fanning, Verbal Aspect, 85.
Fanning, Verbal Aspect, 38-41. See also, Bache, Aspect, Tense and Action, 227-44.
Fanning, Verbal Aspect, 31.
Fanning, Verbal Aspect, 77, 86. The other linguistic features include tense, structural
oppositions among aspects and discourse functions. Porter and Pitts, “Recent Researches”,