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


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
>> <[log in to unmask]>  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    ;)
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