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THEORY: Days (was: Tenses (was: Re: THEORY: ... Auxiliaries...))

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, July 11, 2005, 17:56
On Monday, July 11, 2005, at 02:46 , Henrik Theiling wrote:

> Well, I don't know about Japanese; but Mandarin Chinese can refer to a > full relative week, and can, without needing regular repeating > structure, refer to a day more than German: > > ZH EN DE > da4? qian2 tian1 day bef. day bef. yest. vorvorgestern > qian2 tian1 day before yesterday vorgestern > zuo2 tian1 yesterday gestern > jin1 tian1 today heute > ming2 tian1 tomorrow morgen > hou4 tian1 day after tomorrow übermorgen > da4 huo4 tian1 day after day after tom. überübermorgen > > (I'm not 100% sure whether it's really 'da4 qian2 tian1', maybe 'qian2 > tian1' needs a different prefix, but the others should be ok.)
Yes, I've tried to check this out also. Although I find examples of _da4 huo4tian1_ I have not found any references to _da4 qian2tian1_. But that does not mean to say the latter is wrong. As _da4_ simply means "big" or "old" I see no reason why this should not occur. It seems many languages have special words of phrases for the 'day before yesterday' and the 'day after tomorrow.' WELSH SWAHILI day before yesterday echdoe juzi yesterday doe jana today heddiw leo tomorrow yfory kesho day after tomorrow trennydd kesho kutwa Ray =============================================== On Monday, July 11, 2005, at 03:43 , Henrik Theiling wrote:
> Hi! > > Paul writes: >> On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 21:46:33 -0400, Henrik Theiling >> <theiling@...> wrote: >> >>> überübermorgen >> >> If you're going to allow those kinds of shenannigans, you might as >> well say English has a denumerably infinite number of >> tenses. "Seventeen minutes after 3pm, twelve Thursdays ago", for >> instance ... ;-) >> > Ooops, no. :-) It wasn't my intension to call this 'tense', just to > show which funny words exist. Mandarin usually counts as a language > without grammatical tense, I think. (But it has grammatical aspect.)
Absolutely correct - its verb do not show tense, but there are verbal suffixes to show aspect. But it stretches the meaning of tense even more IMO to call these different 'day' words tense. There is an awful lot of suppletion, and these 'tenses' are not formed in any way analogously to the verbal system of the languages concerned. There's enough confusion as it is with the term 'tense', without adding to it ;) =============================================== MAKE POVERTY HISTORY


Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...>