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On 8/18/05, Carsten Becker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> One question: why do you make it so complicated? If they can
> travel in time, our current grammatical concept of past,
> present and future would be of no use anymore. Only an
> absolute system (i.e. the date of a point in time) would be
> sensible then AFAICT. 

A speaker might want to indicate not just whether something
has already happened or is yet to happen in absolute time,
but also in subjective time, at least in circumstances 
where the two don't coincide.  Similarly, he might want
to ask the listener whether something has already
happened for them.

Fleshing out the system I used briefly for a tiny language 
some years ago,

		Person
Time		1	2	3	absolute
past		ka	ta	pa	sa
present		ke	te	pe	se
future		ki	ti	pi	si

So maybe,

noxo-ka   jasu-si   tynu-ka-si     ny  py-xu.
year-1PST week-4FUT meet-1PST-4FUT ACC 3-MASC

I met him/will meet him a week hence(absolute) a year ago(personal).

-- 
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/esp.htm
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