Medieval Greek had three future periphrases making use of a finite verb and an infinitive: μέλλω + INF, ἔχω + INF, θέλω + INF. Given the parallel nature of the periphrases as well as the fact that the infinitive existed in both a perfective and an imperfective version, it might be expected that these future-referring forms developed aspectual distinctions in similar ways. However based on papyrological evidence from AD I and AD VI this article shows that this was not the case. Rather, each future periphrasis seems to follow its own path towards the aspectual distinction which is a hallmark of the Modern Greek verbal system: μέλλω + INF has a much higher ratio of imperfective infinitives than the two other periphrases especially in AD I, ἔχω + INF starts out using only the perfective infinitive when referring to the future, and θέλω + INF distinguishes for aspect before it gains future meaning. The difference in aspectual usage is explained both by the semantics of the respective auxiliaries and by different oppositional relations (modal and temporal) that the periphrases enter into.
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The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek is the English translation of Franco Montanari’s
Vocabolario della Lingua Greca. With an established reputation as the most important modern dictionary for Ancient Greek, it brings together 140,000 headwords taken from the literature, papyri, inscriptions and other sources of the archaic period up to the 6th Century CE, and occasionally beyond.
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• The principal parts of some 15,000 verbs are listed directly following the entry and its etymology. For each of these forms, the occurrence in the ancient texts has been certified. When found only once, the location is cited.
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