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Re: [tied] Re: Germanic preterite optative

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  • P&G
    ... I am sure that any problem is mine, or my confusion -- or else things have been so redefined that the sentence the past is never unmarked no longer
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 1, 2006
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      >it is quite common for perfective to be unmarked,
      >and in languages without tense, but with aspect, the perfective
      >is typically used to denote the past, at least for non-stative
      >verbs. Classical Arabic is generally said to fall in this
      >group

      I am sure that any problem is mine, or my confusion -- or else things have
      been so redefined that the sentence "the past is never unmarked" no longer
      means that past tenses are never unmarked.

      It was indeed languages such as classical Arabic,or Biblical Hebrew, that I
      was thinking of (which is why I refered to them). You'll also have noted
      my careful wording : I said "the form which is used for the unmarked past".
      I think it is only by semantic sleight-of-hand that a linguist can make
      these languages have always-marked past tenses. The past is often indicated
      by an adverb or some such, but it is also often not indicated, so that the
      original perfective functions as an umarked past. The present is always
      marked by inflection. But no doubt I have misunderstood something.

      Peter
    • raonath
      [I was unable to get to this for a while. And I also wanted to make some time for reading.] ... I don t think that this applies to verbs denoting state. To be
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 13, 2006
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        [I was unable to get to this for a while. And I also wanted to make
        some time for reading.]

        --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "aquila_grande" <aquila_grande@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I have read that in the Inuit language, an unmarked verb denotes
        > preterite if there is not anything else in the sentense denoting
        > another time.

        I don't think that this applies to verbs denoting state.

        To be explicit: 'past marker' applies to also states, habituals and
        such. So it is a form that is used
        to translate each of the following:
        (1) John made a chair
        (2) John walked
        (3) John walked a mile every day last year.
        (4) John knew that.

        Nath Rao
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