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Involving The Past In The Present. The Classical Greek Perfect As A Situating Cohesion Device

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Chapter Summary

According to the author, the Classical Greek perfect can be considered to play a role as a situating cohesion device as well, which is suggested by a number of its uses in non-narrative discourse. This role is directly related to the properties of its semantic value, which in the author's opinion has to be described differently than commonly assumed. This chapter tries to show that a speaker may use a perfect in non-narrative discourse to mark a situating (extratextual) coherence relationship between a past State of Affairs (SoA) and the present communicative situation, which holds primarily on the representational level of discourse. The perfect underlines the actuality that the speaker ascribes to the past SoA within the context of the present communicative situation. At this point the perfect contrasts with the aorist, which lacks this actuality and merely refers to the past SoA.

Keywords: Classical Greek perfect; past State of Affairs (SoA); present communicative situation; situating cohesion device



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