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?
> 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
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
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:-)