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Re: Unusual Tenses

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  • Padraic Brown
    ... And English, two: past and nonpast. That s how I understood the T part of TAM anyway. ... Nuts! And I was looking ríght at A&G to make sure I was spelling
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 13, 2013
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      > From: R A Brown <ray@...>

      >
      >
      >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
      >also
      >
      >>> 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 ...


      And English, two: past and nonpast. That's how I understood the T
      part of TAM anyway.


      >
      >>> 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;
      >> 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


      Nuts! And I was looking ríght at A&G to make sure I was spelling
      it right. :/ At least I spelled nuncquity right! ;)))


      >> 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.


      I like the idea of present / nonpresent contrast; I think I've considered
      just this contrast for some project or other. Though I think a past /

      future contrast (with no present tense at all) might be interesting as well.
      The T part of TAM would simply be left unmarked; aspect and mood
      would shoulder the load alone.


      >>> QT -- question time (used in "when" questions)
      >
      >Yes, this I also find confusing.  What is 'Question time',
      >apart from a program on TV? 


      Oddly enough, this was my first reaction as well! (How I wish we could
      inflict our imperious leader with the same -- but that is an entirely different
      matter of discussion!)


      >> 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.


      Sure -- but the examples were AT and DT, except for one QT!


      >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.


      Well, WP says that Welsh has an "interrogatory mood" -- perhaps this
      mood could be used in conjunction with the indicative or conditional
      (e.g.) to show the questioner's perspective on the matter. That is, as an
      evidential of sorts. INT + INDIC = straight fact finding question ("Did
      John run in the race (or not)?); INT + SUBJ = disbelief regarding data
      (*Jòhn* ran in a ráce!? (Now pull the other one!)); INT + COND =
      conditional outcome query (Would John really run in a race (if...)?)

      I could see combining optative and conditional: I would wish that... or
      potential and optative: I would might go...

      Also "reduplicated mood markers", like double jussive "I should ought
      to do this..."


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

      Nay! Say it not! Even thìnking such a thing could be attempted risks tearing
      asunder the very terrycloth of the universe!!

      Padraic


      >Ray
    • R A Brown
      ... [snip] ... First I ve heard of it. Where does WP say this? I ve looked at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colloquial_Welsh_morphology
      Message 2 of 12 , Jul 13, 2013
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        On 13/07/2013 23:06, Padraic Brown wrote:
        >> From: R A Brown
        [snip]
        >>
        >> 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.
        >
        >
        > Well, WP says that Welsh has an "interrogatory mood" --

        First I've heard of it. Where does WP say this? I've
        looked at:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colloquial_Welsh_morphology
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_Welsh_morphology

        ...and can't find any mention of this strange mood. Also,
        of course, don't take everything WP says as true - because
        it ain't.

        Nor does my copy of "Gramadeg Cymraeg Cyfoes" know any such
        _mood_.

        Though I see Trask does note interrogative as mood:
        {quote}
        *interrogative* /ɪntə'rɒgətɪv/ _n._ or _adj._ The *mood*
        category associated with questions. A few languages have
        distinctive verbal inflections for this purpose, but the
        interrogative mood is more commonly expressed by particles,
        by distinctive word order or merely by intonation..
        (/quote}

        In welsh it's usually expressed by the particle _a_ before
        the verb, which causes soft mutation. The particle is
        normally omitted in the colloquial language, leaving only
        the soft mutation.

        The verb "to be" is rather more complicated; but this has
        special negative forms as well. there would be IMO just as
        much justification to talk about a 'negative mood' as well
        an interrogative one.
        > perhaps this mood could be used in conjunction with the
        > indicative or conditional

        Sure - if interrogation is counted as a mood it will indeed
        then combine with indicative, conditional, subjunctive,
        optative or any other mood you care to have.

        On looking up _mood_ in Trask, I find the category is not
        the 'simple' indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative
        thing I learnt at school. It's actually quite complicated
        and there does not seem to be universal agreement on how
        much is covered by the term. In the longish definition
        given by Trask, I read;" Of all the widely attested
        grammatical categories, mood is perhaps the most elusive;
        mood distinctions tend to shade off almost imperceptibly
        into expressions of the speaker's attitude and into clearly
        pragmatic factors, such as the speaker's perceived
        relationship to other people."

        He goes on too note that some distinguish between
        _epistemic_ and _deontic modalities_, while others propose a
        three-way contrast between _illocutionary force_, _status_
        and _modality_. there is much more besides.

        Having now consulted Trask, which I ought to have done
        before I wrote my email yesterday, I can now well see how
        Leonardo could combine moods. I should have asked what the
        moods are, I guess.

        We live and learn.

        --
        Ray
        ==================================
        http://www.carolandray.plus.com
        ==================================
        "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
        for individual beings and events."
        [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
      • Padraic Brown
        ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_mood under Other Moods ... Oh, indeed! I m well aware of the nature of WP and how it s compiled and how its
        Message 3 of 12 , Jul 14, 2013
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          > From: R A Brown <ray@...>

          >
          > On 13/07/2013 23:06, Padraic Brown wrote:
          >>> From: R A Brown
          > [snip]
          >>>
          >>> 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.
          >>
          >>
          >> Well, WP says that Welsh has an "interrogatory mood" --
          >
          > First I've heard of it.  Where does WP say this?  I've
          > looked at:
          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colloquial_Welsh_morphology
          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_Welsh_morphology

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_mood under Other Moods

          > ...and can't find any mention of this strange mood.  Also,
          > of course, don't take everything WP says as true - because
          > it ain't.

          Oh, indeed! I'm well aware of the nature of WP and how it's compiled and
          how its articles evolve (having done some work on a couple articles).  It
          really wouldn't be terribly difficult to remove the attestation if it's not kosher...

          > Nor does my copy of "Gramadeg Cymraeg Cyfoes" know any such
          > _mood_.
          >
          > Though I see Trask does note interrogative as mood:
          > {quote}
          > *interrogative* /ɪntə'rɒgətɪv/ _n._ or _adj._ The *mood*
          > category associated with questions.  A few languages have
          > distinctive verbal inflections for this purpose, but the
          > interrogative mood is more commonly expressed by particles,
          > by distinctive word order or merely by intonation..
          > (/quote}
          >
          > In welsh it's usually expressed by the particle _a_ before
          > the verb, which causes soft mutation. The particle is
          > normally omitted in the colloquial language, leaving only
          > the soft mutation.
          >
          > The verb "to be" is rather more complicated; but this has
          > special negative forms as well. there would be IMO just as
          > much justification to talk about a 'negative mood' as well
          > an interrogative one.

          Perhaps! Though my point wasn't really to discuss Welsh grammar
          (which particular seems to be a nonstarter), just to point out ways
          moods còuld be combined to show something novel.

          I hadn't really considered combining mood markers before, but
          like the much vaunted surdéclinaison, wonderful things can result.

          >> perhaps this mood could be used in conjunction with the
          >> indicative or conditional
          >
          > Sure - if interrogation is counted as a mood it will indeed
          > then  combine with indicative, conditional, subjunctive,
          > optative or any other mood you care to have.
          >
          > On looking up _mood_ in Trask, I find the category is not
          > the 'simple' indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative
          > thing I learnt at school.  It's actually quite complicated
          > and there does not seem to be universal agreement on how
          > much is covered by the term.  In the longish definition
          > given by Trask, I read;" Of all the widely attested
          > grammatical categories, mood is perhaps the most elusive;
          > mood distinctions tend to shade off almost imperceptibly
          > into expressions of the speaker's attitude and into clearly
          > pragmatic factors, such as the speaker's perceived
          > relationship to other people."

          Indeed. I recall learning all sorts of "moods" in Latin (jussive e.g.)
          and thinking "they have a whole mood just for thát?" The marches
          are a bit indistinct and one never quite knows which side of the
          border one is on.

          > He goes on too note that some distinguish between
          > _epistemic_ and _deontic modalities_, while others propose a
          > three-way contrast between _illocutionary force_, _status_
          > and _modality_.  there is much more besides.
          >
          > Having now consulted Trask, which I ought to have done
          > before I wrote my email yesterday, I can now well see how
          > Leonardo could combine moods.  I should have asked what the
          > moods are, I guess.
          >
          > We live and learn.

          Yes indeedy!

          > Ray
        • carolandray+ray
          ... [snip] ... Yes, and I notice the article begins: This article needs attention from an expert in Linguistics. It certainly does! Sadly I do not have the
          Message 4 of 12 , Jul 14, 2013
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            On 14.07.2013 12:54, Padraic Brown wrote:
            >> From: R A Brown
            >
            >>
            >> On 13/07/2013 23:06, Padraic Brown wrote:
            [snip]
            >>> Well, WP says that Welsh has an "interrogatory mood" --
            >>
            >> First I've heard of it.  Where does WP say this?  I've
            >> looked at:
            >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colloquial_Welsh_morphology
            >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_Welsh_morphology
            >
            > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_mood under Other Moods

            Yes, and I notice the article begins: "This article needs attention
            from an expert in Linguistics." It certainly does! Sadly I do not have
            the expertise to do this. But the reference to the "interrogative mood"
            in Welsh is misleading IMO. It affects the verb "to be" only, and the
            basic form of "to be" in the interrogative tends to be that used in
            negation also; the two forms have different preverbal clitics and/or
            mutations. The various forms of "to be" are quite complex AFAIK in all
            the Insular Celtic languages.

            >> ...and can't find any mention of this strange mood.  Also,
            >> of course, don't take everything WP says as true - because
            >> it ain't.
            >
            > Oh, indeed! I'm well aware of the nature of WP and how it's compiled
            > and
            > how its articles evolve (having done some work on a couple
            > articles). 

            So have I :)

            > It
            > really wouldn't be terribly difficult to remove the attestation if
            > it's not kosher...

            I guess not - but IMO the whole articles needs going over a comptetent
            linguist who is an expert in mood and modality.

            But I'll not rabbit on. I'm away visiting in-laws at the moment and am
            having to use webmail, which I don't much like :(

            Ray.
          • Leonardo Castro
            ... Actually, I talked about aspects, tenses and moods just for comparison, because I want my conlang to have only modifiers that can be used as preffixes.
            Message 5 of 12 , Jul 14, 2013
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              2013/7/14 R A Brown <ray@...>:
              > On 13/07/2013 23:06, Padraic Brown wrote:
              >>>
              >>> From: R A Brown
              >
              >
              > Having now consulted Trask, which I ought to have done
              > before I wrote my email yesterday, I can now well see how
              > Leonardo could combine moods. I should have asked what the
              > moods are, I guess.

              Actually, I talked about aspects, tenses and moods just for
              comparison, because I want my conlang to have only "modifiers" that
              can be used as preffixes.

              Instead of indicative and subjunctive, for instance, it'll have
              modifiers meaning "actually/factually" and "hypothetically". They
              could be combined to mean a "hypothetical fact" (something considered
              as a fact in a hypothetical reality) or a "factual hypothesis". There
              will be a hierarchy depending on which preffix is closer to the root
              and also a way of putting them at the same hierarchical level.

              >
              > We live and learn.
              >
              >
              > --
              > Ray
              > ==================================
              > http://www.carolandray.plus.com
              > ==================================
              > "language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
              > for individual beings and events."
              > [Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]
            • Padraic Brown
              ... Right --- but is that not just another way of saying a modifier for indicative (the mood of reality, factuality) and subjunctive (the mood of irreality,
              Message 6 of 12 , Jul 15, 2013
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                > From: Leonardo Castro leolucas1980@...

                > Actually, I talked about aspects, tenses and moods just for
                > comparison, because I want my conlang to have only "modifiers" that
                > can be used as preffixes.
                >
                > Instead of indicative and subjunctive, for instance, it'll have
                > modifiers meaning "actually/factually" and "hypothetically".

                Right --- but is that not just another way of saying a modifier for
                indicative (the mood of reality, factuality) and subjunctive (the
                mood of irreality, hypotheticality)? :)

                > They
                > could be combined to mean a "hypothetical fact" (something considered
                > as a fact in a hypothetical reality) or a "factual hypothesis".

                Right. Such a fact would still be hypothetical and not real -- hence it would
                still not be indicative. Unless you're positing a secondary set of moods that
                would cover this territory -- a sort of parallel analog "Indicative-2" that would
                work only in the hypothetical. Sort of like when we say "for the sake of argument"
                or "assuming X to be true...".

                Padraic
              • Leonardo Castro
                ... Hypotheticals would only make sense with the subjunctive modifier . With a tense modifier , only the reference time of the narrative will be shifted,
                Message 7 of 12 , Jul 20, 2013
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                  2013/7/19 Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:
                  >> From: Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>
                  >
                  >> With such a system, it's also straightforward to express tenses like
                  >> "future of the past" and "pluperfect" (past of the past)
                  >
                  > Why would you need a set of parallel-tenses (the world within another world tenses
                  > that deal with the reality of parallel hypotheticals) to talk about ordinary things that
                  > are all in the past?

                  "Hypotheticals" would only make sense with the "subjunctive modifier".
                  With a "tense modifier", only the reference time of the narrative will
                  be shifted, like the following example:

                  Present as reference: "Yesterday I was tired, today I'm sleeping,
                  tomorrow I'm going to be nice."
                  Past as reference: "I hab been tired the day before, I was sleeping
                  that day, I was going to be nice the next day."

                  Each verb of the latter could have two preffix or one can simply begin
                  the sentence with

                  {past-preffix} {following-text-pronoun}

                  and then maintain the paragraph in present tense.

                  Yes, I'm going to have anaphoric pronouns that refers to "the
                  following text", "the preceding text", and also "the
                  following/preceding sentence/event". It's not as unnatural as it
                  looks; natlangs have similar ways to refer to elements of the text
                  after and before, the difference is only that AFAIK they don't have
                  specific words to refer to things in the text structure, but rather
                  use more generic words such as demonstrative pronouns.

                  In Portuguese, "este", "esse" and "aquele" can refer to the last, the
                  penultimate and the antipenultimate elements described. Alternatively,
                  "este" refers to the following and "esse" to the preceding.

                  > Past of the past is already old hat in Latin, the old pluperfect: "I had (already) destroyed
                  > Carthage by the time most young men my age were still learning to drive their fathers'
                  > chariots." We don't really have a future of the past in English, but logically, the present
                  > tense covers this stretch of time (as does the future).

                  I think you have it in expressions like "I was going to do" or "I
                  would do". See this definition of "would":

                  « Used with bare infinitive to form the "anterior future", indicating
                  a futurity relative to a past time. [from 9th c.]  [quotations ▲]

                  1867, Anthony Trollope, Last Chronicle of Barset, ch. 28: That her
                  Lily should have been won and not worn, had been, and would be, a
                  trouble to her for ever.

                  2011 November 5, Phil Dawkes, “QPR 2 - 3 Man City”, BBC Sport: Toure
                  would have the decisive say though, rising high to power a header past
                  Kenny from Aleksandar Kolarov's cross. »

                  http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/would

                  >
                  > Padraic
                • Padraic Brown
                  ... Huh? I thought hypotheticals were within the realm of that parallel set of verbal morphology belonging to the world with the world . (I stìll think
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jul 21, 2013
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                    > From: Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>

                    >
                    >>> With such a system, it's also straightforward to express tenses like
                    >>> "future of the past" and "pluperfect" (past of the past)
                    >>
                    >> Why would you need a set of parallel-tenses (the world within another world tenses
                    >> that deal with the reality of parallel hypotheticals) to talk about ordinary things that
                    >> are all in the past?
                    >
                    > "Hypotheticals" would only make sense with the "subjunctive modifier".

                    Huh? I thought hypotheticals were within the realm of that parallel set of verbal
                    morphology belonging to the "world with the world". (I stìll think that's a cool idea!)

                    > With a "tense modifier", only the reference time of the narrative will
                    > be shifted, like the following example:
                    >
                    > Present as reference: "Yesterday I was tired, today I'm sleeping,
                    > tomorrow I'm going to be nice."
                    > Past as reference: "I had been tired the day before, I was sleeping
                    > that day, I was going to be nice the next day."

                    Okay. All of this is perfectly ordinary indicative and speaks of a series of
                    events that are either transpiring now (your "present as reference") or else are
                    transpiring before (your "past as reference"). Maybe I'm missing something,
                    but I don't see how a subjunctive will help here, nor how that other set of
                    hypothetical conjugations will help either...

                    > Each verb of the latter could have two prefix or one can simply begin
                    > the sentence with
                    >
                    > {past-prefix} {following-text-pronoun}
                    >
                    > and then maintain the paragraph in present tense.
                    >
                    > Yes, I'm going to have anaphoric pronouns that refers to "the
                    > following text", "the preceding text", and also "the
                    > following/preceding sentence/event". It's not as unnatural as it
                    > looks; natlangs have similar ways to refer to elements of the text
                    > after and before, the difference is only that AFAIK they don't have
                    > specific words to refer to things in the text structure, but rather
                    > use more generic words such as demonstrative pronouns.

                    Sure. We do this in English as well. "That said" is a good example
                    of a pronominal phrase referring to what has just been said (or
                    written). Other latiny phrases also serve as pronominals that refer
                    to text in relation to what is being said now: "q.v." refers to texts
                    located elsewhere in a document; "vid.inf." refers to text that
                    follows down below. These aren't *pronouns* in the way he, she
                    and it are pronouns; but they serve a similar function.

                    Can also use straight pronouns (which, the former, the latter) to refer
                    to other bits of text or speech.

                    > In Portuguese, "este", "esse" and "aquele" can
                    > refer to the last, the
                    > penultimate and the antipenultimate elements described. Alternatively,
                    > "este" refers to the following and "esse" to the preceding.

                    I guess we could say "which", "which previous" and "which anterior"
                    to accomplish the same. :)

                    >> Past of the past is already old hat in Latin, the old pluperfect: "I
                    > had (already) destroyed
                    >> Carthage by the time most young men my age were still learning to drive
                    > their fathers'
                    >> chariots." We don't really have a future of the past in English,
                    > but logically, the present
                    >> tense covers this stretch of time (as does the future).
                    >
                    > I think you have it in expressions like "I was going to do" or "I
                    > would do". See this definition of "would":

                    Hm. Now we're getting more into the realm of aspect, as opposed to
                    tense. We do indeed have these expressions, but the former (there's
                    your esse) expresses intention to do more than an actual future (although,
                    yes, the time reference **when viewed from the perspective of the speaker
                    at time WAS**, is in the future, the actual time reference **when viewed from
                    the perspective of the speaker** could be any time, past present or future).

                    For example, it's now 0814. If I tell you "I was going to go over to the cafe
                    for breakfast", I mean that up until my now speaking to you, I have had the
                    intention to do something that I have not yet done. This is all in the past,
                    even though, theoretically, the actual act of schlepping over to the cafe could
                    well be in some ill defined future. Obviously, as we move closer and closer to
                    the time of second breakfast, and then brunch and then nammetide and
                    eventually lunchtime, it'll all have been most assuredly and in the past!

                    As for the latter (there's your este), would is also an aspectual. "I would go to
                    the cafe..." indicates the desire to go, or the preference to go. It is often
                    accompanied by a but clause that ruins the party by running contrary to desire:
                    ...but the health services closed the place down last week on account of an
                    infestation of cats."

                    > « Used with bare infinitive to form the "anterior future", indicating
                    > a futurity relative to a past time. [from 9th c.]  [quotations ▲]
                    >
                    > 1867, Anthony Trollope, Last Chronicle of Barset, ch. 28: That her
                    > Lily should have been won and not worn, had been, and would be, a
                    > trouble to her for ever.

                    Myeh. I don't see that as really "anterior future", though. It's all in the past. It
                    certainly has echos and resonances with later pasts, but tis all water under
                    the bridge.

                    Maybe it's because we just don't have ANY actual future tense in English,
                    that I'm not seeing what might be obvious to you. So many verb forms in
                    English can indicate or hint at future events without actually directly referring
                    to the same.

                    Even our "future tenses" par excellence, "will" and "going to", don't directly
                    refer to the future any more than our past tense does! Will and shall merely
                    forshadow the future -- the desire or the obligation to do something at some
                    distant date. Would is perhaps a little more standoffish, backing away a little
                    from the stronger desires of will and the absolute necessities of shall, always
                    falling before a strong prohibition. Going to clearly shows the process of and
                    the standing ready to, but none of these come right out and declare their futurity
                    the way your "comaré" does! All of these actually happen in the present time! ;)
                    This is how I understand it, anyway.

                    > 2011 November 5, Phil Dawkes, “QPR 2 - 3 Man City”, BBC Sport: Toure
                    > would have the decisive say though, rising high to power a header past
                    > Kenny from Aleksandar Kolarov's cross. »
                    >
                    > http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/would
                     
                    Padraic
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