Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


William Craig Price

Primary Subject Area

Religion, General


Greek Aspect, perfect tense, perfect verb, Aspect, aspectual studies, the perfect storm


Linguistics | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Modern Greek studies have undergone intense debate over the past several decades regarding whether to and how grammarians and linguists should apply verbal aspect theory to Greek verbs. A significant portion of this debate has centered on the Greek perfect verb. Buist M. Fanning, Constantine R. Campbell, and Stanley E. Porter are three prominent voices in this ongoing debate. While traditional grammars have done well in describing the actions of the Greek perfect tense form, a consensus has proved challenging in describing the perfect tense form within an aspectual framework. Aspectual theorists agree that the perfect tense form concerns itself with two situations: the originating event and the resultant state. The debate is ongoing as to how aspect can describe these separate events. Porter views the two events as a single entity but focuses on the consequent final residual state after the verbal action. He classifies the perfect tense form as being stative. Fanning primarily views the originating event and believes the aspect to be perfective, with the resultant condition attributed to the verb’s Aktionsart. Campbell leans towards the resultant state and understands the perfect tense to function similar to the present tense, but with heightened proximity. He understands the perfect tense form to be imperfective. If the aspectual theory were to be adequately applied to the Greek perfect tense form, both events should be included in describing its aspect. Such an approach should consider both events within a single aspectual classification. The occurrences of the perfect tense form in the New Testament should also support such a theory. This dissertation proposes such a classification, the causative aspect, which simultaneously views both situations linked by cohesion while allowing either to be differentially marked along a cline and described in aspectual terms.