On 28/09/2011 14:23, Padraic Brown wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 3:32 AM, R A
> Brown<[log in to unmask]>  wrote:
>> On 28/09/2011 04:42, Padraic Brown wrote: [snip]
>> That is not what I said. In fact, I say below that I
>> find the idea of nouns with time inflexion
>> interesting.
> I'm just considering further, based on what you did say
> about concepts that "more properly go with the verb"
> being placed with the noun. My question is simply "why is
> it more proper to place certain concepts with the verb
> rather than the noun?"

If a language does not use some dummy subject - and plenty
do not - for impersonal verbs, it will be somewhat difficult
to express tense.

Be-raining.  (When?)

It would necessitate the use of some adverb (unless context
otherwise made it clear), i.e. Yesterday be-raining; Now

I think the present thread suggests that things are simpler
if time is shown by the verb (and nouns are considered
present in relation to the time of the verb.

cat[present at the time] eat.PAST mouse[present at the time]

>>> Substantives exist and act in time as well as space,
>>> so why not associate both with the noun?
>> But I agree!
> No doubt! I am simply wondering why we so regularly mark
> the verb for time, rather than the noun, who is actually
> the one that is acting in and through time!

Only if the verb does happen to have a subject.  Also the
concept of things existing in space-time continuum was not
exactly common among our forbears.  The notion that the cat
which I saw eating up the poor mouse yesterday was in a
different space-time from than the one I see before me now,
would not, methinks, have been an obvious concept to the
average member of Homo sapiens before Einstein - and even
now, I think, would not be an obvious concept to most.

But _manducatum est_ (impersonal passive) is readily
conceived - sometime in the past some munching was going on.
  Now I wonder what was eating what.

feles murem manducavit.
Now I know   :)

> I think we can see, much like Tupi, verbs in terms of
> timeless action. "Go" simply implies the "action of
> moving from one place to another". It's not until we
> conjugate it that it takes on aspects of time and, well,
> aspect: went, have gone, etc.

Yes, this applies to many languages, e.g. Mandarin.

The Wikipedia article on Old Tupi is not exactly clear on
some points, but it does say of the verb "Without proper
verbal inflection, all Tupi sentences are in the present or
in the past. When needed, tense is indicated by adverbs like
koára, 'this day'."  This is what we find in Mandarin,
Indonesian etc etc.  Nothing really remarkable there.

> I think we could say it is not really the action of the
> verb that is happening in the past or the future, but
> that the agent is moving about and acting in time as well
> as place.

Only if there is an agent.

>> Yes, the problems arose with: "Me-PAST make me-PRESENT
>> broke" "Me-FUTURE make me-PRESENT broke"
>> I, who was there in past, make me, who am here now,
>> broke.
>> I, who will be in the future, make me, who am here now,
>> broke.
>> Um - now I write it out in full, the first one makes
>> sense. It was a past me that has made [ah - present
>> perfect] me broke. Yep - that aspectual business creeps
>> in.
> Or not. I think it is a matter of perspective. I
> certainly see where it can creep in, but it doesn't have
> to. As I read your "translations", I see no particular
> evidence of what we'd call aspect. It could certainly be
> marked in some way -- I just don't see it in the examples
> provided.
> Aspect only creeps in when you provide a smooth English
> translation: "has made me broke"!

No, no - coincidence. The so-called 'present perfect' in
English _may_ denote present tense and perfect aspect. but
it has several other use.  I say that perfect aspect creeps
in because the I/me-PRESENT is broke as a result of
"I/me-PAST made", i.e. the present situation has resulted
from a past action. A literal translation of the
corresponding Welsh, e.g. would be:
Am I after making-myself broke  (verb first)

> This is not present in the examples nor in the literal
> translations, as I read them.

It seems implied to me.

>> But the second one does not seem to me to be sense.
>> Some future action on my part may well make me broke,
>> but that will be in the future.
> Right. I think I mentioned before that, for me, this
> doesn't make sense because a future action, assuming the
> normal flow of time, can't affect the future's past,
> which is our present. Thus, future-me can not make
> present-me broke.

Exactly - that's why it doesn't make any sense to me either   :)

> I kind of like the Tupi way as well: mark the (agent)
> noun for tense but not the verb; mark the verb for person
> but not tense.

But it doesn't, does it?

Elsewhere in the article we read: "Although Tupi verbs are
not inflected, a number of pronominal variations did exist
and form a rather complex set of aspects regarding who did
what to whom. This, together with the temporal inflection of
the noun and the presence of tense markers, like koára
'today' made up a fully functional verbal system."

All this tells us is that the Tupi verb has no time
inflexions but that the time reference is conveyed through a
complex set of pronominal variations and _aspects_ as well
as the use, when necessary, of temporal adverbs.

It seem clear to me that the tense inflexions on nouns
relate solely to the nouns, i.e.
abáűera "he who was once a man"
abárama "he who shall be a man someday"

abáűera does not mean 'a men in a past space-time'
reference, i.e. it is not man-PAST as we have been using it
in the examples above.

Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.