While linguists have long recognized that time is not encoded in Greek verb forms outside the indicative mood, many now argue that in the Hellenistic period (ca. 330 BCE–400 CE) time was not encoded in the Greek verbal system at all. According to this new perspective, Greek verbs grammaticalized not time but rather the semantic values of “aspect” and “space.” In this article, I accept the emphasis of recent studies that Greek verbs grammaticalize aspect (and in some sense also space). On the basis of the cognitive-linguistic theories of “viewpoint,” “mental space,” and “conceptual blending,” however, I argue that time also remained a grammaticalized, or semantic, feature of indicative verb forms. Focusing on the letters of Paul, I demonstrate that particular tense forms correspond invariably with particular times, relative to projected mental space: the imperfect, aorist, perfect, and pluperfect with anterior time; the present with contemporaneous time; and the future with posterior time. In short, Greek indicative verbs grammaticalize aspect as well as time and (in the cases of the perfect and pluperfect) distinctive configurations of mental spaces.

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