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Re: Questions about Tense/Mood/Case

From:Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
Date:Saturday, February 21, 2004, 9:16
Tenses : mainly, there are only 3 of them, past,
present and future. You can refine if:
- you want to be able to refer to the moment of the
speech + the moment of the event, like in 'I now say
that before I punched Billy’s nose, he had kicked my
- you want to make a distinction between immediate
future, near future, far future (or past), like in
'Now I’m going to break that window' / I think Wall
Street will go down in the next weeks / The Sun will
die one day (so let us buy some candles already).

If you want to go further, it's no more tenses, but
rather aspects, like (im)perfective, progressive,
inchoative, terminative ; and other concepts like
process quantifiers (iterative, semelfactive...). Then
moods, like hypothetical, imperative... Then modals
(reflecting the attitude of the speaker about what he
says, in terms of truth, precision, approbation,
desire…). It is all very complicated.

About cases, the best thing in my opinion is trying to
escape from your mother tongue syntax, and to compare
at least a dozen of very different natlangs
(Indo-European, Semitic, Caucasian, Amerindian,
African, Oceanian…) and then to build your own system
on semantic bases. If you start by asking yourself 'is
there a difference between *to him* and *for him* in
English', or between direct and indirect object, you
won't go very far I'm afraid. That's very much
depending of one particular natlang. You might
consider that you need from 2 up to about 40 different

It's easy to explain what is French u, it's the vowel
sound you use in the sentence 'Tu pues du cul!' (Your
ass is stinking). Well, more seriously, form your lips
like you would kiss somebody, or lay an egg, and
expell air. But that's all theory, the only way to
understand what a sound sounds like is to listen to a
word pronounced by a native and try do do the same. By
the way, *French u* also exists in German (written
with a trema on it), in Turkish, in Norwegian, and in
several other languages, so if you have no French
speaker around, use a Turk, or a cassette, or listen
to some foreign radio (but NOT to a Spanish one). As
to Arabic q, I have strictly no idea.

--- Akhilesh Pillalamarri <valardil@...> wrote:
> > My langugage has a lot of tenses for verbs and I > don't even know what > to do with many of them or how to use them. Some > serve no purpose > while others that could serve purpose seem to be > lacking. Is there a > place where I can get a list of all the tenses and > their proper usage > (including the usual perfect, inperfect, pluperfect, > progressive, > conditional, etc.) I also need help with the cases. > I am told > that "to him" and "for him" would fall under the > same case (indirect > object) but in reality these convey two different > meanings. Enlighten > me. And finally can someone tell me how [y](french > u) and [Q](arabic > q) are pronounced. I have a lot of weird pronouns as > well. > > > ~*AKHILESH*~ > > > > --------------------------------- > Do you Yahoo!? > Yahoo! Mail SpamGuard - Read only the mail you want.
===== Philippe Caquant "Le langage est source de malentendus." (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail SpamGuard - Read only the mail you want.


Joe <joe@...>