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183213Re: Further info on tense marking for nouns

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  • R A Brown
    Oct 1, 2011
      On 01/10/2011 01:05, Padraic Brown wrote:
      > On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 2:38 PM, Adam
      > Walker wrote:
      >> On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 1:25 PM, R A
      >> Brown wrote:
      >>
      >>> ...and I'm still troubled by mixed tenses with scope
      >>> over the whole clause ;)
      >>
      >> That is the weirdest part, to be sure and that's no
      >> lie. But I still think that it's exactly because it
      >> is unsettling and somehow "wrong" that it is such an
      >> attractive idea.
      >
      > (: I don't think it's really any different than changing
      > from one tense to another or changing the time of the
      > phrasal action through other means.
      >
      > Is "YESTER-I gamble all my wealth and NOW-I stand broke"
      > really that different from "I gambled all my money and I
      > am broke"?

      NO - that is _two_ clauses - two coordinate clauses
      connected by _and_. The YESTER- bit extends over the clause
      "I gamble all my wealth" and the NOW- bit extends over the
      clause "I stand broke."

      That is just an example of two nominal tenses whose scope
      each extends over its own clause. Clearly there is no
      problem there.

      What I find problematic is the notion of mixed tenses with
      scope extending over the *same* whole clause.

      If in John's "Me-FUTURE make me-PRESENT broke" (or, if you
      prefer, "TOMORROW-I make NOW-I broke"), _both_ future time
      _and_ present time *extend over the whole clause* then I
      have a problem.

      In short:
      1. Mixed tenses where the scope of nominal tense is limited
      to the nominal constituents themselves - NO PROBLEM

      2. Mixed tenses where the scope of nominal tense extends
      over the whole clause _and_ the different tenses occur in
      separate clauses (as in your example above) - NO PROBLEM

      3. Mixed tenses where the scope of one nominal tense extends
      over the whole clause and the scope of other(s) is limited
      to the nominal constituent - NO PROBLEM per_se.

      4. Mixed tenses where the scope of nominal tense extends
      over the whole clause _and_ both occur in the *same* clause
      - PROBLEM (FOR ME)

      >> The trick is, of course, finding a way to make its
      >> usage internally consistant so that is is "right"
      >> within the system established, no matter how "wrong"
      >> it may be in the constraints of human-normal.

      If that is what you want. I am still not certain that John
      was serious about his:
      {quote}
      ... it would allow you to make fun constructions like,
      "Me-PAST make me-PRESENT broke," implying that the bad
      financial decisions of your self in the past are negatively
      affecting your self in the present, or "Me-FUTURE make
      me-PRESENT broke," implying that your current financial
      situation is being negatively affected by upcoming financial
      obligations.
      (/quote}

      I seem to notice the word _fun_ there :)

      At best, I think, if they do convey meaning, each sentence
      has only _one_ nominal tense extending over the whole
      clause; the other nominal tense is limited to the nominal
      constituent, i.e.
      The me that was in the past [nominal tense limited to "me"]
      causes me now to be broke [second nominal tense extends over
      the whole clause].

      The second sentence seems a little more awkward but,
      following John's interpretation, it would seem to work the
      same way, i.e.
      The me that will be in the future [nominal tense limited to
      "me"] causes me to be effectively broke now [second nominal
      tense extends over the whole clause].

      This appeared to me contrary to John's original idea that
      the nominal tense of the _subject_ extends over the whole
      clause.

      >> Perhaps all, or very nearly all, languages on Planet X
      >> do the sort of thing John was/is proposing, and they
      >> find our habbit of marking tense on verbs equally
      >> difficult to grock.
      >
      > Could be!

      I'm not so sure. The documents that Adam found clearly show
      that nominal tense in not a non-human feature. I have
      already conceding that I was mistaken in limiting nominal
      tense solely to the nominal constituent was mistaken.

      --
      Ray
      ==================================
      http://www.carolandray.plus.com
      ==================================
      Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
      There's none too old to learn.
      [WELSH PROVERB]
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