On 5/31/2013 5:51 PM, yuri wrote: > Actually, when I first saw the subject line I thought this was going > to be a thread about tenses used by a time travelling conculture. > > Past, present and future wouldn't suffice. You and I could be > discussing an event that happened in MY past but in YOUR future. > > I think one of the Hitchhiker books discusses this issue. > > I wonder how Gallifreyan handles this issue. > > Yuri Hmm, well we can assume that relativity is valid (the fact that "TARDIS" stands for "time and relative dimension in space" is a big clue to that). So, there are time-like intervals and space-like intervals. Since Time Lords can travel both in time and space, they could very well have time-like and space-like verb tenses! (Well, probably TARDIS stands for something different in Gallifreyan, but I don't know if that issue was ever considered...) Certainly you'd need to have ways to refer to three or more distinct frames of reference: the one relative to your current location in space and time, your own personal timeline, and the personal timeline of your listener or listeners. Actually, I'm thinking that these different frames of reference are not unlike an evidential system. Maybe something like Tirelat's mixed time-evidential suffixes would be an appropriate bit of morphology for a language of time travelers.