Tense and aspect (was: savoir-connaÃ®tre)
|From:||J. 'Mach' Wust <j_mach_wust@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, December 28, 2004, 17:05|
On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 09:50:45 -0500, Mark Reed <markjreed@...> wrote:
>On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 09:06:06 -0500, J. 'Mach' Wust
>> Have a look at an English course for foreigners, and you'll see that
>> English is teached to have two future tenses: The construction with the
>> auxiliary _will_ (and maybe _shall_) and the construction with _to be
>> going to_.
>Absolutely, but that's not the case here. The English sentence
>"Tomorrow I go to work" cannot be interpreted as the "going to"
>future, because that construct requires that the verb "go" be in the
>progressive. Therefore I interpreted the sentences as referring to
>the noun "work", meaning "workplace", "place of business", and used the
>French term "bureau" which is literally "office".
I'm sorry I misunderstood you. It's an obvious case of wrong native language
interference that made me feel it's a verb.
>This is not the only possibility; "Tomorrow I go to work" could also
>be interpreted as "Tomorrow, I will begin my task." or similar; in
>that case, "to work" is an infinitive again, but it's still not the
>"going to" future. It's just the present tense verb being used to
>indicate future action, which happens all the time in English. Common
>"Are you here tomorrow?"
>"No, I'm out all next week."
>"When does your flight leave?"
What about more distant futures? e.g.:
"Are you here tomorrow?"
"No, I'm out."
"When do you come back?"
"I come back in two years."
On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 01:46:26 +1100, Tristan McLeay
>believe the present progressive is the closer translation of many other
>languages' normal present tense.
That's possible. The Slavic languages also use the imperfective aspect for
the expression of the present time.
>> In German, it's common not to use the present tense for
>> future actions. (There are indeed linguists who say that the use of the
>> "werden" periphrasis as an expression of the future tense is a
>> latinizing invention, and that its meaning is rather modal.)
What a mess I've made! In German, it's very common to express the future
time by the present tense form. The hypothesis I've alluded to is that the
construction of the auxiliary _werden_ ('become') + verb has been given the
future tense meaning by grammarians who wanted the German language to be
more like Latin with a future tense of its own. The supposedly more genuine
modal meaning of the werden-construction is an expression of supposition, as in:
Er wird schon gestern angekommen sein. 'I guess he has already arrived
yesterday.' (if we translate the werden-construction with a
will-construction: 'He will have arrived already yesterday'; literally: 'He
becomes already yesterday arrived be')
j. 'mach' wust