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Re: THEORY: Temporal Auxiliaries, Aspectual Auxiliaries, Modal Auxiliaries

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Friday, July 8, 2005, 19:10
On Thursday, July 7, 2005, at 07:45 , tomhchappell wrote:

> Hello again, Ray, and the list. > Thanks for writing, Ray. > I got timed-out, late yesterday afternoon/early last evening, > before I finished my question(s) in response to your response; > so herewith I resume.
Right - that explains why your mail seemed unfinished :)
> My question was, in Korean or other languages in which some (say) > English content-verb (like "studied") has to > be translated by a light-verb-and-content-word combination, > say "kongpu-lul ha-yess-ta"; > > John-i [yenge-lul kongpu-lul]VNP ha-yess-ta > John-Nom English-Acc study-Acc do-Pst-Dc > > `John studied English.' > > when we re-translate "kongpu-lul ha-yess-ta" back into (in this case) > English, does the content-word (in this case "kongpu-lul") always > correspond to a verbal noun or verbal adjective?
Why do we not simply retranslate it as "John studied English"?
> (In this > case, "kongpu-lul" translates as the verbal noun "study", as in "the > study of English".)
That would make English genitive, and the Korean clearly shows that it is accusative and treated as the direct object. I am no expert in Korean - far from it - but this is surely an example of forming a verb from a Chinese borrowing. Japanese does with its verb 'simasu' "to do". So in Japanese 'study' is _benkyoo_ and 'to study' is 'benyoo simasu' Eigo o benkyoo simasu English ACC sudy do = (I) study English It seems to me (with the caveat I gave above) that "kongpu-lul ha-yess-ta" is a _composite_ verb with "yenge-lul" as its direct object. I guess if you wish you could take the Japanese 'benkyoo' as an infinitive as in the English: "I do study English". Such forms are used only for emphasis in standard English, but some dialects do in fact regularly use such forms with no emphasis intended. In such dialects "I study English" would sound unusual and 'posh' :) The addition of the suffix -lul to 'konngpu' as well as to 'yenge' seems a bit odd to me and makes the Korean expression slighter trickier to analyze. But my first _impression_ is that we have: 1. kongpu-lul ha-yess-ta - kongpu-lul is direct object of ha-yess-ta = did the study; this then forms a composite verb = 'studied' 2. yenge-lul kongpu-lul ha-yess-ta - yenge-lul is the direct object of the composite verb 'kongpu-lul ha-yess-ta'. Anyone more familiar with Korean morphology and syntax?
>> [snip] >>> Classically, then, many uses of English verbs are "infinite" forms >>> of the verb in question, although we are not taught to regard them >>> as "infinitives". >>> Mostly we think of non-tensed, non-"aspected" verbs when we think >>> of "infinite" verbs in English. >>> This is probably incorrect, >> >> The term 'infinite' is incorrect. >> We talk about about non-finite verbs. > > ? > "non-finite" is different from "infinite"? > Why?
I am not familiar at all with 'infinite' used as a linguistic term. It normally means boundless, going on for ever, which does not seem to me to make much sense when describing verbs. I have checked with Trask and also with David Crystal's "A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics" - neither of these authorities know the term 'infinite' as a linguistic term. The latter may be very good as the opposite of 'finite' meaning "bounded; having an end oe limit", but AFAIK it is not used as the opposite of the technical term 'finite' when applied to verbs. I quote Trask again :) FINITE "Denoting a form of verb or auxiliary which can in principle serve as the only verb form in a sentence and which typically carries the maximum in morphological marking for such categories as tense and agreement permitted in a language." NON-FINITE "Denoting any form of verb which cannot serve as the only verb form in simple sentences. Non-finite forms typically include *participles*, *infinitives* and *verbal nouns*; these typically differ from *finite* forms in lacking the ability to be marked for tense or agreement." Crystal's definitions are similar. ============================================== On Thursday, July 7, 2005, at 09:13 , # 1 wrote:
> Ray Brown wrote: > [snip] >> On Thursday, July 7, 2005, at 03:24 , # 1 wrote: > [snip] >>> Yeah I know that fact, it's true since the "simple past" got out of >>> usage in French because that tense where only for progressive past but >>> now, the "composite past" carries progressive past and perfect past >> >> Really? Do you mean _j'ai mangé_ can also mean "I was eating" >> (progressive past)? Is _je mangeais_ really on its way out? I knew that >> had happened in colloquial southern German but I was quite unaware of >> its happening in French. > > > Yeah, "J'ai mangé" can mean "I was eating",
Can it indeed? I must check that out with those I know in the Hexagone - it surprises me somwhat.
> but I said that simple past "disapeared" not "imperfect":
Yes, but you also wrote - _your_ words are quoted above - the "composite past" carries progressive past and perfect past meanings. The progressive past is, as you acknowledge, "I was eating". When I learnt French that was the meaning of the imperfect.
> "je mangeais" is imperfect and is still in use, "je mangeai" is simple > past and sounds very odd, this is the fear of the youngs students because > we have to learn it even if this is not in real use, you'll see this only > in stories, and usually at 3rd person
Thanks - but *I am well aware of all that*. I learnt both those tenses more than 50 fifty years ago and also about the use of simple past which we called the 'past historic' because it was used in "histoire". But if, as you say, the composite past can have a past progressive meaning, what is left for the imperfect?
> > But the difference in meaning of "composite past" and "imperfect" as > "progressive past", "perfect present" and "imperfect past" is strange > because progressive past can be siad with the 2 conjugations depending of > the context
{snip] Sorry - your examples leave me even more confused. I could see _nothing_ to indicate that the composite past can be used to denote "past progressive".
>> Trask defines 'conditional' thus: >> "A conventional name for certain verb forms occurring in some languages, >> notably Romance languages, which typically express some notion of >> remoteness, supposition, approximation or implied condition. >> Semantically, >> the conditional is really a mood, but formally it behaves more like >> part of the tense system...." >> > > I thought that time could only be past-present-future with some exceptions
What exceptions? Tense in its strict meaning can refer only to past, present and future. Many languages, including English, distinguish formally only between past and non-past. If you read what Trask actually wrote he said the _semantically_ (that is, by _meaning_) it is a really a mood, but _formally_ (that is, by its _morphology_) it behaves more like part of the tense system. That is so. In all the western Romance languages the 'conditonal tense' (as books usually term it) is formed on exactly the same base as the future, and it is used by suffixing endings typical of one of the past tenses. [snip]
>> Formally both the future and the conditional are formed on the same stem >> in all French verbs. The future is formed by suffixing forms derived >> from the _present_ tense of _avoir_: >> aur-ai, aur-as, aur-a, aur-(av)ons, aur-(av)ez, aur-ont. >> >> The conditional is formed by suffixing the same same set of endings as >> those added to the 'present stem' to form the imperfect tense (the 'past >> of the present'): >> aura-ais, aur-ais, aur-ait, aur-ions, aur-iez, aur-aient. > > > So you mean that "present conditionnal" is to "simple futur" what > "imperfect" is to "present"
No - I mean the 'conditional' is to the 'future' what the 'imperfect' is to the 'present'. It seems to me somewhat perverse to call the thing 'present conditional' as there is no way in which 'future conditional' or 'past conditional' tenses can be formed in French. "j'aurais manger" the perfect conditional, as the use of the auxiliary shows.
>> It seems to me that 'il aura' ~ 'il aurait' is remarkably analogous to >> 'he will have' ~ 'he would have', where "would" is the past of "will". > > Yeah but that may be due to chance,
May be, but it is not. If you care to delve into the history of your language you will discover that the two forms developed from Late Latin: manducare habet (future); manducare habebat ('conditional')
> the same thing doesn't exist between shall-should, may-might, and > can-could...
It certainly does.
>> It seems to me perfectly reasonable to interpret the stem aur- as >> carrying the same _modal_ significance as English "will". > > > I'm not sure of what is a modal signifiance
Signifies a mood (or 'mode').
> but I know that "will" has more uses than "avoir" auxiliary and don't > corespond exactly,
Quite irrelevant - I am not talking about _avoir_ as an auxiliary. [snip]
> Yeah these translation are good but I'd like to know why you always use > present with "will" and past with "would". other forms can exist
Guess it's because I speak more or less 'standard' English where a past main verb will cause tenses to shift in any complement clause; it is known as 'sequence of tense' and I thought it was fairly common in western European languages. I quote Trask's definition of 'sequence of tense': "The phenomenon, occurring in English and some other languages, by which the use of a finite verb in a matrix clause places constraints on the tense of a finite verb in a complement clause. In English, the rule is simply that a past tense in a main clause must be followed by a past tense in a complement clause: _Lisa says she wants a BMW_ ; _Lisa said she wanted a BMW_; but ?? _Lisa said she wants a BMW_."
> he said he will eat it
Would certainly have been marked as incorrect when I was at school and indeed sounds odd to me. As the all too frequent English dialect threads on this list have shown, one can never say "It does not occur" - but it is less common than:
> he said he would eat it which "will" has shifted to its past form "would" according to sequence of tense. When I learnt French some 50 years ago the same sort of thing happened in that language also.
> he says he will eat it > he says he would eat it
No - that last one is incomplete. "He says he would eat it if.....". In a given context, where the 'if' had already been established it might perhaps occur. But the "would" in "He said he would eat it" and "He says he would eat it" are *quite different* in meaning. The first one is simply a shifted future, i.e. 'will' becomes 'would' because the main verb is past (when I learnt French 50 years back, it was also the rule in French). But in the second sentence it carries a conditional meaning. [snip]
> Why are the two forms (2nd and 4th) you use for example so special? You > use "shifted futur" but what do they have that merit for their own name?
See above. [snip]
>> Yes, but I said _irrealis_ - that's the negative form of 'realis' :) > > > Yeah, I know, but aur- like in "j'aurai" is indicative, so realis because > indicative indicates a fact
How can it? We do not know the future! You might have a heart attack, get run down by a bus or get blown up by some mad terrorist before you are able to have whatever it was you thought you were going to have. The future tense at best denotes only what is likely to happen. [snip]
> Irrealis represents probability but I don't say "I will probably have > eaten" ......
{Sight} I should have taken more notice of Trask :=( Yes, _irrealis_ was badly chosen. The term is used in a rather ad_hoc manner for certain features occuring in particular languages. It does not have any consistent linguistic content. The same applies also to _realis_ which you seem to equate with 'indicative'. But this getting us nowhere...... [snip]
>> It is passive - that's why it has to have the extra -e in: j'ai la >> mangée <-- *(ego) habeo illam manducatam. > > > What means "J'ai la mangé"?
Ach! Got the French word order wrong :=( Also it is probably better to have a verb that will not normally use a partitive form for its object. Let us try: je l'ai vu = I saw him <-- */jo lo ajo ve'duto/ ~ (ego) illum habeo uisum je l'ai vue = I saw her <-- */jo lo ajo ve'duta/ ~ (ego) illam habeo uisam Ray =============================================== =============================================== MAKE POVERTY HISTORY


tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...>