Continuity and change: The history of two Greek tenses

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The goal of this paper is to demonstrate two cases of continuity in the Greek tense system from Antiquity till today, viz. the Imperfect and the Future, both of which, in spite of partly changing morphology and other variation on a surface level, remain remarkably constant semantically and conceptually. The constant meaning of the Imperfect may be defined quite cogently, depending on the choice of theoretical framework, either as <i>developing</i>, <i>intraterminal </i>or <i>inclusive</i>. Also the Future, in spite of more radical surface variation diachronically, displays a remarkably high degree of continuity on a conceptual level. Already Ancient Greek had the possibility of expressing different aspects also in the future tense by means of modal expressions or by periphrasis.


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