Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Tense and aspect (was: savoir-connaître)

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 ><j_mach_wust@...> wrote: >> 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 >examples: > >"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 <conlang@...> wrote:
>I >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.) > >Pardon?
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') gry@s: j. 'mach' wust


Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>