Re: Perfect/imperfect vs Past/present/future
|From:||Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, July 4, 2002, 7:23|
--- Roger Mills wrote:
> I've been wondering recently where so-called "realis-irrealis" fits into
> this-- or is it just another name for perfective/imperfective? Realis seems
> to indicate what did occur, has occured, is occurring. Irrealis seems to be
> what will/would/could/may occur.
> Philippine languages are often described as having realis/irrealis; but from
> the translated examples it seems more a past/present vs. future distinction.
I know nothing about Philippine languages, except that there is such a
beautiful word like "ng", that really tickles the imagination. All I can say
about the matter is this:
The best approach would probably be a three-dimensional matrix. Tense would be
on the x-axis, mood on the y-axis, and aspect on the z-axis. They exclude each
other by no means.
All languages I know have at least traces of all three of them.
I have never worked with the irrealis, but appears to me, that it is rather a
modification of the indicative mood. It could be handled as a separate mood as
well. Depending on the way it is used, I could imagine its use as a fourth
dimension of the matrix.
Same thing with the conditional. It could be handled as a tense (a mixture of
future and past), but also as a mood.
"Originality is the art of concealing your source." - Franklin P. Jones
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