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time distinction+page update

Date:Thursday, August 24, 2000, 9:01
Yoon Ha Lee a écrit:

> A Chinese-American told me once that Chinese (Mandarin?) doesn't have > verb tenses. Is this true? I can see a language getting by using > circumlocutions or something to indicate time. I've been thinking of > doing that with Aragis. > > What kinds of time distinctions *can* you make? > > past > present > future > > Maybe all, maybe only one or two. Who knows? > > Various things like progressive, imperfect, perfect, etc. (Do they count > as time distinctions?)
------------------ As Matt has written these are aspects. but you could also have "aspect inside the verb". for instance, in Japanese, the progressive -iru form shows either the progression of a process or the state of a completed process. aruku : to walk aruiteiru : to be walking shizumu : to sink shizundeiru : to be sunk (not "to be sinking") shiru : to get to know shitteiru : to know (not "to be getting to know") then you can combine this progressive form with the perfective tag -ta: shitteita : was knowing shizundeita : was sunk etc. reversely, the perfective form of some verbs point to a continuous state: kawaru : to change kawatta : to be different (meaning "to be strange") the reason for this is that the definitions of each verb include various aspects and aspectual references interfering with the -iru and -ta aspect tags. As for tense, mood and aspect (TMA), Japanese only has these two aspects. But Indonesian has no flexion whatsoever for TMA: everything is made with auxiliaries. For instance "it will have been getting red" would absurdo translate "it will already keep become red" "itu mau/akan sudah/telah sedang jadi merah" (but it doesn't really because mau+sudah and telah+sedang won't work well) My conlang Tunu works like that too, but to a disastrous extent since it's a hoaxlang being designed to be the easiest language to learn and speak in the world --no I mean: in the Universe. I've just updated it-- it's quite comprehensive now: I hope I can produce a grammar like Tokana's someday. Unfortunately Tunu cannot baffle auxlang specialists and save babel yet because it is spoken by an obscure cannibal tribe only. Will Japanese ethnolinguist Otearai Toire succeed in learning this language from the Tunus and bring it back to civilization? I'm not sure yet. I plan to disclose bits of his diary when i have time to translate them. It's not going to be anywhere as funny as DiLingo, though:-) mathias