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On Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 9:56 PM, Njenfalgar <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 2013/1/15 Njenfalgar <[log in to unmask]>
>
> > Hi all,
> >
> > When working on a con-auxlang of mine (an auxlang spoken in a
> conuniverse)
> > I suddenly started thinking about tenses, and how they can be used
> > absolutely (past tense = before the moment of uttering) or relatively
> (past
> > tense = before the time given by the context). I kind-of thought to have
> > the tense markers in my language have a relative sense, and this is also
> > how I have come to understand Vietnamese tense particles. Now I've been
> > doing some Google-ing and Wikipedia-ing about this, and now and then I
> have
> > encountered hints about there being natlangs indeed having a purely
> > relative tense system, but I have not found anything concrete -- not even
> > the confirmation that Vietnamese indeed has relative tense. Anyone able
> to
> > give more information about this kind of thing?
> >
> > Greets,
> > David
> >
> > P.S.: I'm in Brazil now, and this is the first mail I'm sending the list
> > from my new hometown Rio de Janeiro. :-)
> >
>
> Maybe I should clarify a little what I exactly want. Of course my language
> will have all adverbs necessary to speak about time in an absolute way, but
> I'm now focusing on *tense*, i.e. how tense is incorporated in the verb. In
> English, using a past tense verb means the past, never the future. You
> cannot say: *"Tomorrow, when you arrive, I already went away," because
> "tomorrow" is future and "went" is past. In Portuguese you can (apparently,
> still learning the language) say "Amanh„, quando vocÍ chegar, eu jŠ saŪ,"
> which means "Tomorrow, when you arrive, I will be gone." Thus the past
> tense in this sentence indicates the action is performed before the time
> given by the context, and not before now.
>
> So, does anyone know of languages where such is *always* the case?
> Google-ing some more has brought up speculation about Na'vi having only
> relative tense. :-)
>
> Greets,
> David
>
> --
> Dos ony t„snonnop, kotŠk ony t„snonnop.
>
> http://njenfalgar.conlang.org/
>

As already said, Hopi. Hopi is polysynthetic, with up to AFAIR 5 prefixes
and up to 5 suffixes that you can attach to the root. Agian AFAIR the first
suffix in a clause shows relative time/aspect/something like that with
respect to the previous clause, such as immediate following, preceding,
cause, result and others, including, again AFAIR, gnomic. The grammar
was available online on Rosetta Project about a decade ago, and I've been
trying to TeXify then, but now I'm unable to find the files. But I'm really
thinking some you will definitely find it after some googling today.

Best,

Kolya