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THEORY: Temporal Auxiliaries, Aspectual Auxiliaries, Modal Auxi...

From:Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>
Date:Friday, July 8, 2005, 21:21
In a message dated 7/8/2005 3:37:42 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
salut_vous_autre@HOTMAIL.COM writes:

>But there are no language that distinct more than those? like distincting >"far past" from "near past" or having a "past" and a >"past-that-is-too-far-for-anyone-being-able-to-remember-it-precisely" that >they would use in stories, genesis histories, dreams, childhood memories of >the oldest members of the group...?
Degrees of remoteness in the past (and future) tense are not uncommon. E.g., In _Tense_, Bernard Comrie mentions the Haya language of Tanzania, with separate past tenses for "earlier today", "yesterday", and "before yesterday." "Recent past" vs. "nonrecent past" is also a common distinction, but I recall reading somewhere that no natural language has a tense cutoff based on a specific historical event. That is, it is apparently unknown for a languge to have, for example, one tense for events on and after July 4, 1776 and one for events before that date. Doug


tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...>Tenses (was: Re: THEORY: ... Auxiliaries...)