Tense and aspect in Gothic : a statistical comparison of the Greek and Gothic versions of St. Mark's Gospel

Wood, James Christopher (2002) Tense and aspect in Gothic : a statistical comparison of the Greek and Gothic versions of St. Mark's Gospel. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis will attempt to define the tense/aspect system of Gothic, using the functionalist approach of Comrie's Aspect (1976) as a theoretical framework. Relatively little research has been conducted on the subject of Gothic aspect compared to that of Greek or Latin. The prior research in the field describes two main approaches. One, first put forward by Streitberg 1891, stated that Gothic had a tense/aspect system similar to those of Slavic languages in the use of preverbs to perfectivize verbs. The many exceptions to this theory led to a second approach, after Scherer 1954, suggesting that Gothic aspect is a semantic category and not a morphological one, and that preverbs have little or no relationship to aspect. My own interpretation is closer to Streitberg's in that preverbs do tend to encode perfective aspect, but I believe the system was incompletely developed at the time that Wulfila translated the Bible into Gothic; the exceptions noted by Scherer would then seem to indicate that the system was still in flux. -- The central part of the thesis will be a statistical analysis of St Mark's Gospel in Greek and Gothic, with additional comparative data from Latin. From this limited corpus a list will be compiled of all verbs in St Mark's Gospel. Since the Greek tense/aspect system has already been defined, this list of verbs will be subdivided according to their Greek morphological categories and then analyzed to determine how the Greek aspectual distinctions (imperfective, perfective and retrospective) are translated into Gothic in terms of the presence or absence of preverbs.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1423
Item ID: 1423
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 228-230
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2002
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bible--N.T.--Mark--Language, style; Gothic language--Aspect; Gothic language--Tense

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