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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. Jan ===== "Originality is the art of concealing your source." - Franklin P. Jones __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts