|From:||Jim Grossmann <jimg@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 23, 1999, 8:23|
>Is there any natural language that has a relative verb tense? For
>instance, if 'eho means "speak"
JimG -- I'm also anxious to see the answer to this question, but can advise
that there is another way of defining relative tense.
What follows is my probably imperfect and definitely sketchy understanding
of relative tense that I came to after reading some more perfect, less
sketchy net material.
Absolute tense would signify location in time relative to the moment of the
utterance, whereas relative tense could signify location in time relative to
any one of a number of moments other than the moment of utterance. So, for
I jumped, then I fell.
I jumped before I fell.
>ne'eho might mean "I speak now."
>to'eho might mean "I spoke/will speak sometime within the forseeable
>ke'eho might mean "I spoke/will speak sometime within the historical
>In other words, not differentiating for past or future, but for distance
>form the present.