Mike Aubrey’s Masters Thesis

Originally published on December 31, 2014

Mike Aubrey has uploaded his anxiously awaited thesis:

The Greek perfect and the categorization of tense and aspect: Toward a descriptive apparatus for operators in Role and Reference Grammar

Mike has also posted two reflections on his blog that you will find helpful as you read his thesis. Here’s what he says about their value:

If you’re a Greek student/scholar. I would encourage you to read the two posts dedicated to discussing my thesis. This is because it’s not a work that’s oriented toward biblical scholars [or] to classicists. It’s a work by a linguist for linguists. The two posts I’ve put up […] on my blog are designed to provide some orientation for people whose primary interest is Greek rather than linguistics proper.

Here are links to the two discussions on his blog:

Part I: Challenges in language analysis: thesis prefatory material
Part II: Thesis Prefatory Material: A Narrative Account

Abstract

Here’s the abstract that Mike included on Academia.edu:

This thesis attempts to expand the theoretical and methodological basis for operators within Role and Reference Grammar for purposes of language description, using the Greek perfect as a test case. This requires first examining the current theoretical and methodological approach to tense and aspect in RRG and its strengths and weaknesses. Here I demonstrate that while some areas of RRG have a well-developed and robust set of theoretical and descriptive tools for language description, operators such as tense and aspect are distinctly lacking in this regard. To that end, I propose a model for tense and aspect operators that attempts to fill in the gaps that exist in RRG while also maintaining the integrity and spirit of the linguistic theory. This involves three steps. I begin with a survey of the broader typological literature on tense and aspect in order to establish a set of morphosyntactic tests for the evaluation and categorization of operators. This is followed by an application of the proposed morphosyntactic tests to a particular grammatical problem: the Greek Perfect in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the tests. I then concluded with a synthetic model for tense and aspect operators that both satisfies the theoretical and typological claims of the broader literature and also validates the existing structure of the Role and Reference Grammar framework, thereby furthering the goals of RRG as a useful theoretical model for language description.

The Greek Perfect

While the Greek perfect has been the subject of numerous treatises, it has received less attention that other forms of the verb in treatments of aspect. Mike’s thesis enables Role and Reference Grammar to address this deficit.

I encourage you to take the time to read it along with the posts on his blog that address it.

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