On 13/07/2013 12:14, Padraic Brown wrote:
>> From: neo gu

I was beginning to think, from the lack of response, that i
was the only one baffled by this.  But it seems Padraic is

>> T he current version (Jul05) marks TAM using suffixes.
>> First comes the aspect (stative or aoristic,
>> progressive, habitual, perfect, and prospective), then
>> the mood (imperative, subjunctive, and indicative plus
>> non-finite forms).

OK - so the A and M parts of TAM are being shown separately.
  So obviously "tense" is not being used to refer to the
traditional 'tenses' set out in grammar book, e.g. the six
indicative & four subjunctive tenses of Latin.

So I assumed "tense" was being used in the strict linguistic
sense of "[t]he grammatical category which correlates most
directly with distinctions in time" [Trask].  In which case
Latin has only three: past, present, future.  But ...

>> If the mood is indicative, the tense follows. There
>> are 5 suffixes in that slot:
>> AT -- absolute time ("now") DT -- definite time
>> ("then")
> A question on terminology: I've never heard of these
> terms before, so don't know if they're Real Linguistics
> Terms or not;

Nor have I, tho I have heard of "absolute tense" (time
reference which takes the present moment as its point of
reference).   It may be that "absolute time" and "definite
time" are terms used in some school of linguistics, but I am
not aware of it.

> but intuitively speaking, the names themselves seem to
> refer to the same extent of Time. In other words, Now is
> absolute because of its presence, its nuncquity, its
> definiteness -- there can be no other now than Now! While
> Then would seem to refer to any other possible, less
> absolutely defined and more cuandocunquatious time.

'cuandocunquatious' is a mix of Spanish & Latin with an
anglicized termination


> It seems that the dichotomy is between a well defined NOW
> and an ill defined ELSEWHEN,

Yep - that's what I understand.  Two-way contrasts between
past and non-past are not uncommon (e.g. ancient Greek and
modern English).  Less common is a two-way contrast of
future and non-future (e.h.Hua language of New Guinea).  But
I've not come across a present and non-present contrast
which is what we seem to have here.  Tho it s further
complicated by other so-ca;led 'tense' suffixes.

>> QT -- question time (used in "when" questions)

Yes, this I also find confusing.  What is 'Question time',
apart from a program on TV?  A when question can be about
any tense reference in the past or the future.  We seem to
be introducing a different distinction within non-present
time: interrogative and non-interrogative.  The latter has
nothing to do with tense as I understand it.

>> RT -- relative time (used in temporal adjunct clauses)

I assume this means finite verbs in temporal clauses.  Tense
will be relative to that of the verb in the main clause. But
it could be past, present of future in relation to that
verb.  RT seems to be just marking the verb as having
relative tense without actually specifying the time
reference, i.e. the actual _tense_!

>> CT -- complement time (used in complement clauses).

Again this seems to me just a marker that the clause is a
complement clause, it does not mark out the actual time
reference (i.e. tense) of the verb in relation to the main
verb.  Complement clauses also have the added complication
in natlangs that they are often (tho by no means always)
subject to a 'sequence of tense' rule.
Lisa said, "I will come to the party."
Lisa said [that] she would come to the party.

> How do these work? You tantalise by defining, but fail to
> show us the goods!

Quite so.  Tho there are, to be fair, a few examples.
However, it was not clear to me how this worked.

 From what I can see, the third suffix is neither a tense
suffix in the traditional sense nor in the more strictly
linguistic sense.  It would seem that the actual tense (i.e.
time) is arrived at by a _combination_ of aspect and these
final suffixes.  But the exact details are not clear to me.

On 12/07/2013 22:28, Leonardo Castro wrote:
> In my conlang that is under construction, all these
> suffixes' combinations will be possible by means of
> preffixes, but there will be no right order for them to
> appear and it will be possible to use multiple aspects,
> multiple moods and even multiple tenses in the same
> verb.

...and multiple voices?  Just kidding

i can understand multiple aspects; after all both English
and Portuguese may combine perfect and progressive aspect, e.g.
I have been working
Tenho estado trabalhando

Bulgarian has forms that combine perfect and imperfective
and, I believe, other combinations are found.

I can understand multiple tenses, in the strict sense of
'time', if we have relative time.  But I don't see how
multiple moods would work.

But all these interesting prefixes can appear in any order?
Eeek! Are you trying to out-Maggel Maggel?

"language  began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
for individual beings and events."
[Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]