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The recent debates about the English future tense have got me thinking. 
Suppose we start with the following definitions

Tense: a grammatical form whose primary function is to indicate the time 
frame of an event
Aspect: a grammatical form whose primary function is to indicate the 
temporal structure of an event
Mood: a grammatical form whose primary function is to indicate whether 
the sentence is a simple statement of fact or something else

These are the simplest useful definitions I could come up with. I'm an 
empiricist, not a theoretician.

I postulate that if a language has at least three tenses, and one of 
them behaves in a way that is significantly different to the others, it 
is most likely to the the future tense, and that its behaviour will be 
more mood-like than the others. This is because the future tense isn't 
really conveying simple statements of fact, but predictions.

Pete