On 3/19/06, taliesin the storyteller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Given "after", "before", "when", "while", "since", "until" and longer
> terms such as "from now on", "from this point forward" etc., how can we
> collapse them?
> Before time T, an event happened
> Until time T, an event was undergoing
> Since the difference here seems to be between punctual/durative, which
> can be marked on the verb, I collapse before and until. Same for since
> and after and "from time x into the future"-rewritings.

gzb derives its time-postpositions the same way as its space-postpositions.
"before" and "until" have the same prefix "dx-", with different
motion-vowels ("i" for location/static time, "o" for motion toward,
"rq" (rhotic schwa) for motion from) and different suffixes
("-n" contact with the object of the postpostion, "-j" near the object,
etc.)  So:

dxi -- before
dxij -- just before
dxon -- until

The prefix "sq-" is used for "after".

sqi - after
sqin -- immediately after
sqij - soon after
sqir - long after
sqrqn - since

The bare time/location postposition "i" can also mean "during".

> "While" can be used to mark that something happened at the same time or
> during something else happened: while X was happening, Y was also
> happening. Not collapsible with before/until or after/since.

> When "when" is synonymous with "once" as in "once we're there", "as soon
> as we're there", it does the work of "after" with the added meaning of
> immediacy, which can be separated out. "When" can also mean "at, during

"when" is a relative pronoun, I think, temporal equivalent of "where".
I derive it with "time + which", "viqj-loq" -- which then needs a postposition
to say whether we're talking about "at which time", or
"during which time" or "since which time" or what.
"viqj loq i" is most common.

> We have:
> before, up to time T (before, until)
> after, from time T (after, since)
> overlapping in time, at time T (while, during, when)

Basically "during" takes a noun object in English and
"when" takes a clause.  Not all languages use different
words for these purposes -- Esperanto has "dum" for
both, for instance, and I'm guessing some of the Slavic
languages Zamenhof knew have similar dual-purpose

> In addition there are lotsa of words for time that does not attempt too
> join clauses in any way, like "late", "last", "previous", "now", "then"
> etc., these could also be interesting to collapse, especially in that
> words like "last" has at least two meanings: "previous" and "final".

gzb has one word for "previous" and "next", which might be
translated "immediate/adjacent" -- it combines with other
words to be more specific.

"now" and "then" are derived from a word for "time" plus
a demonstrative and a postpostion:

nu koq i, at this time = now
nu poq i, at that time = then

I derive "last/final" with a word for "end" plus an ordinal suffix: "sun-pa".

"late / early" is interesting and tricky, since it has some implied comparison
to a "right" time.  I haven't got a concise way to express these
in gzb yet.  Maybe:

nu saxr-fwa i
moment approval-CAUS at
on time, at the moment which causes approval?

nu saxr-fwa dxi
moment right before

nu saxr-fwa sqi
moment right after

Another tricky term is "eternal" or "eternity".
Obviously I could coin a root word for "eternity" (timeless
existence, not an infinite span of time), but I want to
derive it with existing root stock if possible, and I haven't
figured out how to do it yet.  Obvious ones like
"viqj-ta" and "vxu-ta" (time-less and duration-less) don't
seem to work.  I tried "kwiq-ta" (sequence-less), but
I'm not sure it's right either.  Maybe "kwiq-viqj-ta".
Or derive it with the opposite suffix, "viqj-cox" --
but is it obvious [or even true] that eternity is the
opposite of time?

Jim Henry