Textkit Logo

Charting out tenses in a time line

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.

Moderators: thesaurus, Jeff Tirey

Charting out tenses in a time line

Postby 1%homeless » Sat Jan 03, 2004 12:16 am

Latin: Pluperfect – Perfect – Imperfect – Present – Future Perfect – Future.

I’m sketchy about the Imperfect because it is a continuous action that can extend all the way back to Pluperfect, but what do you think of the placement in the time line? I’m doing this because I’m trying to make a mnemonic verb synopsis list. Pluperfect verbs would be verbs starting with the letter "A"; Perfect starts with "B; Imperfect starts with "C"; etc. I’m going to do a Greek one next, but I’m having a hard time dealing with aspect versus tense. Should I only put tense forms in the time line? Although people say aspect isn't time based it's still hard to believe that it isn't. I think Bernard Comrie’s book about aspect would be way over my head if I got a hold of it.
User avatar
1%homeless
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 6:21 am
Location: East Hollywood

Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:48 pm

Later in Greek they started to ignore the aspect, but until then it was indeed not time based in most cases. For example the Aorist in only past if the form is augmented. I'm not sure a timeline like that can work properly in Greek, but if I were to make one it would be similar to the Latin one:

Plusquam Perfect - Perfect - Aorist - Imperfect - Present - Future Perfect - Future

But really (for Latin and Greek) I think Perfect and Imperfect should hold the same place on the time line.
phpbb
User avatar
Emma_85
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: London

Re: Charting out tenses in a time line

Postby annis » Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:08 pm

1%homeless wrote:Latin: Pluperfect – Perfect – Imperfect – Present – Future Perfect – Future.

I’m sketchy about the Imperfect because it is a continuous action that can extend all the way back to Pluperfect, but what do you think of the placement in the time line?


I think you'll need some different lines to indicate action completion.

I’m going to do a Greek one next, but I’m having a hard time dealing with aspect versus tense. Should I only put tense forms in the time line? Although people say aspect isn't time based it's still hard to believe that it isn't.


Aspect is not time based. However, most languages don't have a full chart of verb forms for all the aspect/tense combinations (unlike Bulgarian, I think), so there is some confusion there. Here's some junky ascii art of my attempt (including Greek):

Code: Select all
                    <...perfect.!>
                                |now|
<...past perf..!> |...aorist...||now|         <...fut. perf..!>
                  <...imperf...>|now|         <...future...>
                                   <...present...>


If the verb space ends in a bar ( | ), that means action completion. If the end has an arrow, that means the action is continuing on. Most actions point back into the past to indicate that most of the time the nature of the start of the action isn't encoded in these verbs.

If the verb space ends in bang-arrow ( !> ) that means that the result of the action continues on into the future. So, "I have shut the door" - a perfect - implies strongly that the door is still shut. But "I shut the door" simply describes a past action.

Although I have put the past perfect further in the past than the imperfect or present perfect, there is no real reason to do this. It merely means that an action was completed and that the result continued in the past ("I had shut the door"). This action may occur at the same time as an imperfect ("I had shut the door while I was singing 'Wozzek.'")
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby 1%homeless » Sat Jan 03, 2004 8:53 pm

Wozzek? :) Thanks William and Emma. This is almost starting to sound like a theoretical physics class about multi-layered time dimensions. :) I think you should put that chart on your aoidoi site. Harris’s cube was kind of vague. The book “Greek an intensive course” had a chart, but it wasn’t too precise. I guess thinking about tense in terms of a timeline isn't the best the thing to do, but it's useful for mnemonic reasons.

It seems like I can’t be able to put Greek verb forms in alphabetical order without being arbitrary about it. Anyways I have to put it in alphabetical order for my mnemonic conjugated verb list. I believe remembering endings without verbs attached are harder because they are more abstract. I think I might have to find another way to organize my verb list because the damn augments will make it very hard to put it in alphabetical order.

Let me try to list it alphabetically anyways :-)
A. past perfect
B. imperfect
C. aorist
D. perfect
E. present
F. future perfect
G. future
User avatar
1%homeless
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 6:21 am
Location: East Hollywood


Return to Open Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 30 guests