Yes, I was refering to both he tense system limit, and Neal's numbering limit. I came up with two future tenses. Near-future She will be eating soon Far-future She will be eating Near-future tense has to have a time word or phrase aded, like soon, or at fifteen hundred hours. I haven't come up with a word for hours, yet. There are also thirty-five hours in a day. Our tense system is quite confusing when it gets to the perfect and imperfect tenses. The passive voice is also confusing. Emerging poet Pen Name Mellissa Green Budding novelist tweet me GreenNovelist blog www.theworldofyemora.wordpress.com ----- Original Message ----- From: "Garth Wallace" <[log in to unmask]> To: <[log in to unmask]> Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2012 12:52 AM Subject: Re: a 4 tense system > On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 6:46 PM, Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews > <[log in to unmask]> wrote: >> Hi, I know I need to create a tense system. I don't understand the first >> tense. > > The tense system that neo gu is descibing is a little unusual. The > aorist is a kind of past tense. > >> Also, did my screen reader read corectly? It said November 19. Since >> that tense refers to time, does that mean there are other tenses? > > I'm pretty sure that "Nov19" is the name of neo gu's project. Probably > some sort of placeholder name. > >> Also, >> what's the limit on tense numbering? > > If you mean how many tenses a language can have, I'm not sure there's > any real limit. If you're referring to how he assigned numbers to his > tenses, like saying that the "present tense" is #3, that just seems to > be something neo gu has done because he thinks the "traditional" names > could be misleading. > >> I'm thinking a three-tense system, >> current, previous, and post. Current: >> She is eating. >> Previous: >> She was eating. >> Post: >> She ate. I'm not sure what do do about future tenses. She will be eating. > > You're actually talking about both tense and aspect there. They're > frequently found together, and they both have to do with time. Here's > how I'd describe your system: > > "She is eating." We would say that is present tense, progressive (or > imperfective) aspect. > > "She was eating." We would call that past tense, progressive or > imperfective aspect. > > "She ate." We would call that past tense, perfective aspect. English > grammarians call this the "simple past" or preterite. > > Tense proper has to do with when the action described by the verb > takes place. There are lots of different tense systems in natural > languages. One very simple one is past/nonpast: verbs inflect only for > whether the action happened in the past or not: English actually has > this system (there is no "future tense" inflection of verbs, just a > construction using the modal verb "will", which is optional). There > are also, IIRC, languages with future/nonfuture systems, where the > past and present are lumped together (because they can be definitively > known), while the future is set apart (because any statement about the > future can only be speculation). Or past/present/future systems, where > verbs have distinct inflections for each. Some languages even divide > up "past" or "future", so verbs may inflect differently for recent > past and distant past. There are more too. And some languages don't > have tense at all. There are lots of options. > > Aspect is harder to describe. It has to do with how you're looking at > the action in time. The most basic division is between the perfective > (looking at a single action as a complete unit, as in "She ate cake.") > and the imperfective (looking at an ongoing action from inside, as in > "She was eating cake."). The imperfective can be further divided: the > progressive (a single ongoing action), the iterative (repeating an > action, "She ate cake after cake"), and the habitual (a state of > occasionally performing an action, "She ate cake often") are all > examples of imperfective aspects. Then there is the perfect, which > describes the state that results from an action: English uses "have" > for this ("She has eaten the cake."). There are loads more. They > sometimes get merged in funny ways, too. For example, in English we > can express habitual aspect with the same verb form as the perfective > ("She ate cake" can mean that she ate it once in the past, or that > eating cake is something she used to do). Latin used the same verb > form for the perfective and the perfect, which is why the names of > those aspects are confusingly similar. > > So neo gu's tense/aspect system breaks down like this: > > (1) expresses a past action, whether complete or ongoing. In other > words, it's a simple past tense, unmarked for aspect. > (2) expresses a present state resulting from a past action. It's a > present perfect. > (3) expresses a present action, whether complete or ongoing. It's a > simple present tense, unmarked for aspect. > (4) expresses a future action, whether complere or ongoing. It's a > simple future, unmarked for aspect. > > These are not odd distinctions to make. What's unusual about neo gu's > system is that either the present perfect or the simple present may be > "off limits" depending on the verb. I'm not sure I understand the > conditions, though.