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Re: Verbs

From:Gerald Koenig <jlk@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 22, 2000, 4:17
> >At 2:03 am -0500 20/3/00, Shreyas Sampat wrote: >>What's the difference between a verbal aspect and a tense? >>As I've concluded, an aspect includes the various odd things you might >>want to tack onto a verb, whereas a tense is strictly a place in >>relative time. > > >Some languages like the Slav langs & modern Greek have a clearly defined >dual aspect system (imperfective & perfective in the Slav langs) with a >complete set of tenses in each aspect. The western European languages have >tended to mix tense & aspect. English verbs are considered by some to show >four aspects: > Simple Progressive Perfect Perfect progressive >Present I go I'm going I've gone I've been going >Past I went I was going I had gone I had been going
The English terminology can be very confusing. For example the present perfect is a de facto past tense. This shows up with the tense diagrams of my Vector Tense. There are no blind tenses or aspects in VT. Present perfect: I have gone. <-----"present" timeframe----> k @-----@======>-*-------------> (future) go The * represents the instantaneous "now" moving rightward on the timeline. Left of it is past, right future. It shows the "going" activity to be in the real past. The k represents a known in-mind moment of departure in the past. The conventional past and future have their own timeframes also. Perfect progressive. The perfect progressive has two forms: It has been raining for 3 days. (still is). v @-------@=======*>----------> [the * and the > are coincident] rain, v. The instantaneous now extends the vector of the event as it moves into the future. Since it is within the vector it is progressive and not completed, ie not "perfect" in spite of the terminology. V is a variable whose values tick off the timeline as the vector extends. It has been raining for 3 days. (just stopped today). k @------@=========>*----------> The instantanous now is outside the action of the vector, the action is complete and furthermore it has a constant known value, k=today. The action is complete, "perfect" because its termination is known to be prior to another event. In fact it is a past tense. In NGL vector tense it is also known or knowable. These two forms of "present" "perfect" "progressive" are distinct vector tense forms and I think they should be in any rational language. Hope this helps, and good luck with your lang. Gerald Koenig More about vector tense can be found at
>Ray. > >========================================= >A mind which thinks at its own expense >will always interfere with language. > [J.G. Hamann 1760] >========================================= >