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Ubabamkhulu uthengise imoto yakhe ngonyaka odlule. Ubabamkhulu wathengisa imoto yakhe ngonyaka odlule. For a comprehensive discussion of the remoteness distinctions in Bantu with reference to past and future time reference see Botne and Botne and Kershner Let us now focus on Groenewald's second consideration for not considering the so-called remote past tense as indicative of remote past events. Groenewald cites a number of examples of the so-called remote past tense forms 'which do not denote a remote past'. His examples include the forms repeated below. The first example is used often in soccer commentary.

His examples are numbered in this article for easy reference. Wathint' abafazi wathinta imbokodo. Hawu wathula kangaka Fuze. Ucabanga indaba kaMpiyakhe yini? Are you thinking about the matter concerning Mpiyakhe? These, and similar, examples bring Groenewald to the conclusion that:. In texts consulted, examples of the so-called remote past indicating recent past actions and in one case an event in the present outnumbered remote events. The problem with Groenewald's pronouncement is that none of the examples he cites are remote past tense verb forms.

His analysis is thus based on the erroneous assumption that the verb forms are in the remote past tense while they are actually verbs in the consecutive mood. The remote past tense is characterised by long length on the vowel -a- that coalesces with the subject marker. None of these verb forms have this characteristic length. Groenewald maintains that:. The primary semantic function of this tense [the remote past] is to mark events as 'seminal'.

The so-called remote past tense highlights events in narration whether oral or written. Unfortunately, the verb forms Groenewald is referring to above are not in the remote past tense, and the deduction that the remote past tense marks events as seminal therefore does not hold. In order to account for the tenses of isiZulu in a systematic and holistic way, cognizance has to be taken of the contributions made by numerous scholars Bantuists in particular to the study of tense.

Moreover, an analysis of tense has to take into account that tense interacts with mood, modality and aspect. In this regard Jaszczolt remarks:. Just as the semantic category of temporality is not basic and can be traced back, both diachronically and synchronically i. Grammarians still grapple with the distinction between past tense, perfect aspect and stativity. It is difficult to distinguish between this aspectual reflex and the past tense morpheme in the Bantu languages. Another factor that has compounded the confusion in describing tense in the Bantu languages is that a large number of scholars have used the terms 'perfect' and 'imperfect' as subcategories of the tense system while they actually denote aspect.

Groenewald seems to favour the view on the distinction drawn by some scholars between the past and 'perfect' tenses. What Posthumus calls the past tense, Taljaard and Bosch , Sithole , and some other scholars in fact call the perfect, reserving the term 'past tense' for the a- past tense …. Even though Van Wyk used the terms 'imperfective' and 'perfective' with reference to the tense forms of Northern Sotho, he eventually opted to reserve these terms for aspectual distinctions. He remarks :.

Louwrens also discarded the use of the terms 'imperfect' and 'perfect tense'. He explains:. This analysis leads, inter alia , to the conclusions that a the terms perfect and imperfect 'tense' should be done away with by replacing them with past tense and present tense respectively ….

Brisard and Meeuwis strongly criticise the inappropriate use of the term 'perfect' with reference to tense as used by Poulos and Bosch and Poulos and Msimang. They say:. Many Bantuists link up the alleged past reference of the form with some notion of perfect aspect. Poulos and Bosch refer to the cognate morpheme -ile with allomorphs -e and -i in Zulu zone S as the 'perfect or past tense', not only treating perfect unconventionally as a category of tense, rather than aspect, but also presenting perfect and past as synonymous labels. Moreover, Poulos and Bosch observe that the same form is used with stative verbs.

Yet these authors call the same form a 'perfect tense' ; our emphasis , also insisting on the interpretation of 'perfect' as a category of tense in the rest of the book …. From the foregoing discussion it is abundantly clear that the terms 'perfect' and 'imperfect' should be reserved for labelling aspectual distinctions and not tense forms. A number of tense and aspect analyses carried out for different languages open up new avenues for a more satisfactory analysis of the isiZulu tense and aspect system.

Janssen analyses the Dutch preterite and perfect from the speaker's vantage point and mental field of vision. Brisard and Meeuwis analyse the Lingala tense and aspect forms from a Cognitive Grammatical perspective, emphasising that this approach offers 'important advantages in the analysis of tense meaning, by stipulating what tenses refer to profile and what is relegated to the background of their semantic makeup' This approach agrees to some extent with Janssen's analysis above.

Botne and Kershner investigate the isiZulu near past tense forms with - il.. The scholars referred to above approach tense as a multidimensional perspective rather than as time regions along a single time line. While the contexts in which the past tense and the remote past tense of isiZulu can be used overlap, there are contexts where the past tense may be used but not the remote past tense. Furthermore, the remoteness distinction between these two past tenses in contexts where they can both be used is often on the mental or psychological level rather than on the spatio-temporal level.

Questioning the fact that tense forms are grammaticalised or are forms of grammaticalisation. Groenewald alleges that Posthumus has indicated that tenses are forms of grammaticalisation 6 and maintains that this is an incorrect use of the term. Firstly, this is not accurate - what he did say is that tenses are grammaticalised - thus marked grammatically in the verb form.

Moreover, the terms 'grammaticalised tense' and even 'grammaticalisation of tense' are widely used and do not warrant any motivation - see for instance the quotation from Comrie on page 2 and that of Botne on page 5 of this article and the title of Hengeveld's chapter in Heine and Narrog in the list of references. The semantic or syntactic significance of the long and short forms of the present and past tenses 7. The morpheme -ya- that realises in the affirmative form of the present tense in the indicative mood does not mark the present tense as suggested by Groenewald He supplies a table containing the present tense form ' Ngiyabhala' with the -ya- underlined and explains: 'The morpheme through which the clauses [ sic ] are tensed are underlined; … ' If the morpheme -ya- were a marker of present tense, all present tense verb forms would have had to contain this morpheme, which is not the case.

One of the syntactic functions of this morpheme is to mark focus on the verb as the new information in the sentence. Groenewald concludes his discussion on the present tense by stating:. The short form should, in my view, be regarded as the norm for the present tense, whilst the long form should be regarded as an aspect indicating weight associated with present tense.

It is not at all clear what is meant by the phrase, 'as an aspect indicating weight associated with present tense '. Ironically, the true significance of the use of the morpheme -ya- occurring in the present tense is contained in the quotation from Sithole supplied by Groenewald Sithole ascribes the use of the long form of the present tense rather than the short form primarily to syntactic considerations and secondarily to emphasis.

The term 'focus' is, however, more appropriate than 'emphasis'. See in this regard among others, the quotation from Botne and Kershner in relation to the short and long forms of the past tense elsewhere in this article. The long or disjunctive or disjoint form of the past tense with -ile is, like the long form of the present tense, a semantic-syntactic marker of the fact that the focus is on the verb in the particular sentence. Groenewald , however, maintains that the long form of the past tense with -ile denotes that ' … an event has indeed taken place … '. Had she used the short form in this context, the focus would then have been on the adverbial description 'lapha ehhotela' and no longer on the verb.

What is in focus in example 23 is her action of booking herself in and not where she has booked in:. Ngibhukile lapha ehhotela. A number of Bantuists have pointed out that the choice between the use of the short and long forms of the present and past tenses is based on syntax and focus. Botne and Kershner examine the alternation of the - il.

With reference to the discussions on the contributions of scholars such as Doke , Beuchat , Ziervogel and Taljaard and Bosch , Botne and Kershner remark:. The focus of most of this discussion has been the syntactic alteration between constructions ending in the 'long form' -il. Groenewald states that the past tense verb forms of isiZulu do not always denote past tense. According to him the past tense form can be used to mark: 1 'events that do not feature as seminal events' especially the short form , 2 stativity and 3 perfectivity or completion.

The fact that Groenewald wants to attach a different meaning to the 'past relative tenses' is probably due to the fact that he does not interpret the relative tense forms comprising two verbal forms as denoting a single tense. The very fact that the past tense or perfect henceforth: past tense can co-occur in the relative tenses is proof that the past tense can be used to indicate something other than tense.

Declerck et al. They indicate that the past tense form of English, when used in a relative tense, can mark coincidence between two times in the future. This means that not all past tense forms locate a situation in the past. An absolute past tense form does, but a relative past tense form just expresses coincidence between two times in a past domain and can therefore be used even if the two times are interpreted as lying in the future ….

Van der Spuy advanced the hypothesis that the alteration between the use of the so-called short or long forms of the present and past tenses of isiZulu is conditioned by the syntactic position of the verb within the surface structure constituents. Buell , based his analysis on Van der Spuy's findings.

Distinguishing a present compound tense. Groenewald argues that there is a need to distinguish a present compound tense. The example he supplies as justification for the need to distinguish such a tense is repeated here as 24 with my own translation :. Wena Sivalo uthi le ngane ayifane kanjani namantombazane ibe ingumfana yona?

The copulative ibe ingumfana in example 24 is in a relative tense form, but not in a 'present compound' tense. The auxiliary part ibe of this verb is itself in the situative mood. The term 'present continuous tense' is a misnomer because a tense form that takes the present moment UT as the point of reference for tense interpretation is inevitably an absolute tense. The morphological form of the auxiliary part of the relative tense indexes the reference point for the temporal interpretation of the predicate relative to UT the deictic centre. The temporal interpretation of the eventuality is then done from this newly established RT.

Note, however, that this RT does not become the deictic centre as some scholars, notably Chung [iii, 15 et seq. For a comprehensive discussion on this topic see Posthumus []. Relative tenses are those tenses where in the Comrie model of tense analysis E event time is not interpreted from S speech time but rather from R. Naming the two future tenses. While Groenewald maintains that - zo and - yo do not primarily mark tense, but that they are rather aspects marking 'definite or indefinite immanence' he nevertheless includes a definite future and an indefinite future tense in his exposition of the isiZulu tenses.

He furthermore distinguishes a 'compound definite future' and an 'indefinite compound future tense'. He does not motivate his preference for the use of the terms 'definite' and 'indefinite future tense' over the conventional terms 'near' and 'remote future' as used by the majority of Bantuists. Bybee, Perkins and Pagliuca point out that while different futures are distinguished cross-linguistically the distinctions 'definite' and 'indefinite' futures are very rare.

They conclude:. Definite and indefinite also qualify predictions of future events, but rather than the speaker's confidence in making prediction, what is at issue is whether the speaker is offering an assurance that an event will take place at some definite time or is not offering such an assurance.

Grams with these functions are rare; at best only one language Nung has a definite future, and two others Inuit and Buriat have indefinite futures. Botne and Kershner et seq. According to Botne and Kershner the remote future of Basaa denotes a:. Like the two past tenses that denote remoteness in the past, the two future tenses of isiZulu also mark temporal remoteness as two time regions, but stretching into the future seen from the 'now' of UT.

As with the two past tenses the use of one particular future tense rather than the other may be conditioned by psychological or mental considerations. While the -zo- future tense forms of isiZulu may include a notion of definiteness as opposed to the -yo- future tense forms that may include a notion of indefiniteness the primary distinction between these two tense forms remains that of near future as opposed to remote future. While some misconceptions and concerns relating to tense analysis in isiZulu have been addressed in this article as a response to Groenewald's proposals, a lot more research needs to be done on tense in the Bantu languages of Guthrie's zone S.

A discussion on tense without proper cognizance of the interrelated categories time, mood, aspect and modality is incomplete; however, it is not possible to discuss all these categories and their interrelatedness in a single article. The author declares that he has no financial or personal relationships which may have inappropriately influenced him in writing this article.

Barentsen, A. Janssen and Van der Wurff, W. Rohrer ed. Binnik, R. Bohnemeyer, J. Binnik ed. Botne, R. Jovannet ed. Brisard, F. Buell, L. Bybee, J. Chung, K. Davidse, K. Declerck, R. Volume 1: The grammar of the English tense system: A comprehensive analysis', in B. Traugott eds. Doke, C. Elson, D. Engelbrecht, E. Fillmore, C. Fludernik, M. Gabbay, D. Gerner, M. Givon, T. Griesel, G. Groenewald, H. Haspelmath, M. Narrog eds. Hlongwane, J. Hogeweg, L. Hornstein, N. Huddleston, R.

Janssen, A. Vetters eds. Jaszczolt, K. Jokic, A. Kibort, A. Klein, W. Levinson, S. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, B. Lindfors, A. Louwrens, L. Lyons, J. Cambridge University Press. Ma, X. Bishop eds. M'khize, W. Nerbonne, J. Nichols, P. Nurse, D. Philippson eds. Nyembezi, C. Paradowski, M. Kosecki eds. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main. Posthumus, L. Poulos, G. Pretorius, R. Ranamane, T. Reichenbach, H. Robertson, J. Wichmann ed. Rose, S.

Sabel, J. Mugane et al. Salkie, R. Smith eds. Sithole, N. Smith, C. Meier, P. Richard, H. Aristar-Dry, E. Destruel eds. Soga, M. Steedman, M. Klein eds. Suter, F. Taljaard, P. Tavangar, M. Maier, C. Huitink eds. Tonhauser, J. Van de Vate, M. Van der Spuy, A.


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Van Wyk, E. Ferreira , pp. Von Stechow, A. Weist, R. Zabrocki eds. Zagona, K. Barss ed. Hualde, A. O'Rourke eds. Correspondence : Lionel Posthumus lionelp uj. Received: 01 Oct. Note that the schematic presentation used in this article is a simplified version of the schematic presentations used in the articles referred to above. The schematic representation shown in Figure 1 in this article is more in line with the representation used by Declerck and Reed This term has been used in the latter sense in tense analyses, as is evident from the references cited in this article.

All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Services on Demand Article. English pdf Article in xml format Article references How to cite this article Automatic translation. Access statistics. Cited by Google Similars in Google. Introduction Research on time and tense reckoning in literary texts should be encouraged since this is a neglected area of research in the Bantu languages. The appropriateness of the term 'absolute tense' and defining absolute tense in terms of deixis Groenewald's discussion of tense is based on Smith's description of tense, namely that, ' … tense is a morpheme that expresses temporal information, by a verbal inflexion or auxiliary'.

Nerbonne explains the relevance of these three notions as follows: Reichenbach distinguished speech time s, event time e and reference time r. He says : The notions that are most commonly grammaticalised across the languages of the world are simple anteriority, simultaneity, and posteriority, i. Lyons also emphasises the deictic significance of tense stating that: The essential characteristic of the category of tense is that it relates the time of the action, event or state of affairs referred to in the sentence to the time of utterance the time of utterance being 'now'.

He says: The use of the word 'absolute' in the term 'absolute tense s ' as used by Posthumus is problematic, intrinsically, as well as in the light of how tenses have been used by writers in narrative discourse … The description 'absolute' is incompatible with the notion of deixis.

The term 'absolute tense' is defined as follows in the work of Trask : absolute tense n. See Comrie for discussion Rose, Beaudoin and Nurse also base their definition of 'absolute tense' on Comrie's model of tense analysis. They define absolute tense as: ABSOLUTE tense 'The term absolute tense is a traditional, though somewhat misleading term that has come to be used to refer to tenses which take the present moment as their deictic centre' Comrie The second and possibly preferred option is to provide a definition encompassing both absolute and absolute-relative tense forms by defining tense as follows: Tense is the grammatical expression of time reference in the verb form as a relation between the time of the event or the time of the situation , reference time and utterance time.

In spite of this he asserts: There is thus a real sense in which taking the present moment as the deictic centre establishes the most basic tenses cross-linguistically, those in terms of which it is often easier to understand deviations from absolute tense. We shall continue to use the traditional term absolute tense … Paradowski in Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Kosecki is yet another of the numerous scholars who uses the term 'absolute' with reference to tense forms that are anchored to speech time.

The distinction between absolute and relative tenses and the naming of the two tense systems The description of tense as the interpretation of event time from either speech time or from reference time as championed by Reichenbach has led to the differentiation of tenses as being absolute or relative. He furthermore maintains: The analysis of the tenses will hopefully show that there is no need, in the case of isiZulu, from a pragmatic point of view, to make a distinction between absolute and relative tenses based on grammatical form, because there are often no clear, 'absolute' differences in use between certain tenses, as the examples will show.

He asserts: One formal characteristic of absolute-relative tenses in many languages is their compositionality, i. Comrie continues to clarify the nature of absolute-relative tenses and the role of grammar in marking such tense forms by stating: A similar pattern, though using rather different morphological means, obtains in Maltese, with the auxiliary verb 'be' establishing the reference point and the tense of the lexical verb establishing the location of the situation relative to the reference point.

In her discussion of absolute and relative tenses of Spanish, Zagona describes the relative tenses as follows: The latter is a 'relative tense', in the sense that the evaluation of time is established relative to a linguistic antecedent rather than a speaker's 'now'. Note that he uses the term 'second event-locus' instead of 'reference time': In effect, the grammaticalization of this second event-locus establishes a second temporal continuum, dependent on the time of the speech event for its proper temporal interpretation. Distinguishing between the two past tense forms of isiZulu and naming these tense forms isiZulu, like many other languages, distinguishes degrees of remoteness in terms of past and future temporal references.

He says : Bantu languages are known for their multiplicity of past and future tense contrasts … Bantu languages with two pasts most often contrast hodiernal vs pre-hodiernal … These contrasts are flexible in many languages depending on the situation and the speaker's intent. Botne elaborates on the realisation of remoteness distinctions as follows: Thus, for example, we will see that Kondoa only superficially distinguishes four tenses, a consequence of a simple linear analysis.

Groenewald maintains that: The primary semantic function of this tense [the remote past] is to mark events as 'seminal'. In this regard Jaszczolt remarks: Just as the semantic category of temporality is not basic and can be traced back, both diachronically and synchronically i. He says: What Posthumus calls the past tense, Taljaard and Bosch , Sithole , and some other scholars in fact call the perfect, reserving the term 'past tense' for the a- past tense … Even though Van Wyk used the terms 'imperfective' and 'perfective' with reference to the tense forms of Northern Sotho, he eventually opted to reserve these terms for aspectual distinctions.

He explains: This analysis leads, inter alia , to the conclusions that a the terms perfect and imperfect 'tense' should be done away with by replacing them with past tense and present tense respectively … Brisard and Meeuwis strongly criticise the inappropriate use of the term 'perfect' with reference to tense as used by Poulos and Bosch and Poulos and Msimang. Real systems often depart from this canonical ideal, and the degree to which the system is canonical depends, of course, on one's analysis of the underlying features and values.

In this section we assess the two analyses of Kayardild TAM in terms of the canonicity of their patterns of exponence. It will be recalled from Sect. Table 19 shows the morphomic exponents of the sixteen values of tam, the single TAM feature of the one-feature analysis. The tam feature receives overt exponence both on thematic stems and athematic stems, as shown.

In some instances the exact exponence varies according to clause type, indicated as c for complementized and u uncomplementized, and in one instance for tam:5 as realized on athematic stems in complementized clauses there are two exponents in variation. Many of the exponents in Table 19 are shared. For example, tam:1 and tam:2 share their exponents on thematic stems.

So too do tam:6 and tam:7, and tam and tam Likewise, on athematic stems there are identical exponents for tam:2,. In the canonical situation, this kind of syncretism would not happen; each feature value would have its own, distinct exponent, which would not vary across stems. Morphomic exponents in the two-feature system are shown in Table In this system there is just one instance of syncretism between values of the same feature, namely tama:continuous and tama:emotive.

It is important, therefore, to ask how the two-feature system avoids syncretism. Effectively, the two-feature analysis avoids syncretism among the values of its features, by taking as the basis of those values the very syncretisms that characterize the one-feature analysis. For example, in the one-feature analysis, tam:1 and tam:2 following the labels of Table 8 share their syncretic, N exponent on thematic stems, and in the two-feature analysis, tam:1 and tam:2 correspond to tamt:progressive.

Likewise, in the one-feature analysis, tam:7, tam:8 and tam:9 share their LOC exponent on athematic stems, and in the two-feature analysis, tam:7, tam:8 and tam:9 correspond to tama:instantiated. If we consider this property of the two-feature analysis in light of findings in Sects. What unifies tamt:progressive, for example, is simply that it is realized as N. Consequently, while the single tam feature often has multiple values mapping syncretically onto one and the same exponent, the two features tama and tamt typically have a one-to-one mapping between their values and their exponents.


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All else being equal, this directness of mapping might count in favour of the two-feature analysis, on the grounds of simplicity, for example. However, it is important to ask: is this still true, within the context of our overarching analysis of Kayardild morphology? We answer that question in Sect. The core reason is that by doing so we make possible an elegant and balanced analysis of the abundance of instances where multiple inflectional feature values, throughout the inflectional system, map onto the same morphomic exponent.

Worryingly though, the basis of the two-feature analysis of Kayardild TAM runs in the opposite direction: it reduces the amount of many-to-one mappings by packaging the 'many' into single feature values. In that sense, the basis of the two-feature analysis runs counter to the overarching analysis of Kayardild, as it attempts to package shared exponence within feature values, rather than in the mappings between feature values and morphomic categories.

The one-feature analysis is more in keeping with the general analysis of the morphological system. The reader may have noticed some similarities between Table 19, which shows syncretism in the one-feature analysis of Kayardild tam, and Table 3, which showed syncretism in the one-feature analysis of Guugu Yimidhirr case. The parallels are strong. In both instances, the two-feature analysis was the first to be proposed by linguists; it was inspired by patterns of exponence, in particular by patterns of syncretism across values which differ between two kinds of stem pronouns versus nouns in Guugu Yimidhirr, and thematic versus athematic stems in Kayardild ; and it turns out to be largely at odds with evidence gained from other aspects of the inflectional system.

The latter analysis, in which two features are assigned but only one is realized, is in fact entirely parallel to Round's formal analysis of tama and tamt. Both tama and tamt are assigned to words under the appropriate VP node, but only one of them is realized on a given word. Without rehearsing the details of Round's formal analysis see Round , we simply note that by adopting a single-feature analysis of tam, the morphological system of Kayardild no longer needs to stipulate this complementarity between the realization of tama and tamt, and it no longer needs to associate a large number of words in every clause with two TAM features, of which only one is ever visible.

The formal system thereby becomes both simpler and more transparent under a single-feature analysis. We have argued for an analysis of Kayardild, according to which there is just one TAM feature. That feature, which we name simply tam, has sixteen values whose. In Table 21, we propose a set of labels for each value of tam and present a comparison with equivalents in the analyses of Evans a and Round In terms of Round's formal analysis of the morphology-syntax interface in Kayardild, our revision is easily integrated into the broader analysis, and has a simplifying effect.

We can state this briefly. Our tam values will need to attach in the syntax at the same nodes to which Round's equivalent tama feature attaches; this will ensure that features percolate to the requisite DP constituents. Round's analysis of competition between the realization of tama and tamt becomes redundant once these are replaced by a single feature tam, for which one need only formulate rules of stem-sensitive allomorphy in accordance with the facts in Table As we argued in Sect.

We also argued that Round's non-veridical value of tamt is better analysed as a value of the polarity feature, which we can label negative2. There is a view, held by many but certainly not all linguists, that there is a fixed list of features, from which individual languages employ some subset, see for instance,. Zwicky and Chomsky This is a view we share as in Corbett , though this does not impact directly on our analysis of Kayardild. Related to this view is another, directly relevant to our analysis, which we shall call the "No Concurrent Features Conjecture".

According to this view, a language may have, or not have, each of the possible features, but it may not have two instances of the same feature. In other words, a language may have a case system, or not have one, but it may not have two case systems. The conjecture is not generally stated directly, but we see it in linguists' use of terms: where a language might be analysed as contravening the conjecture, we may find terms chosen to avoid the issue. Thus languages which arguably have two gender systems may be described as having a gender system and a classifier system.

In our view, the conjecture is an excellent rule of thumb. Following ockham, we should not propose two features of the same type if there is an adequate analysis with just one. But we stress that we do not rule out such analyses. As just one example, consider gender in Michif. This language was formed in Canada through the marriages of local women who spoke Cree and men fur traders who spoke French.

It combines an animate-inanimate gender system of the type we expect to find in an Algonquian language with a masculine-feminine gender system. These two systems occur together in the noun phrase. Research on this language is reported in Bakker and Papen and Bakker The data specific to gender are available in Corbett , while Corbett discusses the Michif situation as an instance of a combined gender system. Thus Michif could be argued to have two gender features, that is, two orthogonal features, each of which independently would qualify as a gender feature.

If it does, that is unusual, interesting and worthy of further study. In our Michif example, there are special circumstances which gave rise to the two potential gender systems but the result, we suggest, has two concurrent gender systems. Given that we would take a critical view of analyses with concurrent features, but certainly not rule them out, we have re-examined the evidence in Kayardild and have concluded, unlike the previous accounts, that Kayardild has one TAM feature. Just as Goddard demonstrated that a single case feature offered a more insightful analysis of systems previously analysed as showing split ergativity so, we suggest, our comparable analysis of Kayardild is a step forward compared with the earlier ac-counts.

On the way, we had to return to the data and sharpen the analysis of Kayardild at key points. We are thus making a methodological point: taking the. Members of the Set-theoretical School grappled with the problem of gender and animacy in various Slavonic languages, as described with great care and insight by van Helden , but their concerns were rather different.

Van Helden himself considers briefly the question of a language with two gender-like categories, though he was not aware of any such language Again we do not rule out the possibility of a language having two CASE systems: see the interesting analysis of Ossetic using concurrent case systems in Belyaev Though we have removed Kayardild from the list of potential examples of concurrent feature systems, we have not ruled out such systems.

Nor indeed do we deny the existence of less clear, in-between systems. These would be expected, if languages can move to and from having concurrent systems. The Kayardild language, at the height of its power and world influence as Evans c nicely put it had perhaps speakers. While the number of speakers has declined, the impact of Kayardild on the field of linguistics has been considerable, primarily as a result of Evans' grammar a. Any linguist who thinks they have a clear notion of what is a "possible human language" might well check it against that grammar, to have their notion refined or perhaps shaken.

The influence of Kayardild continues, for instance through Round , , We have revisited one of the areas where Kayardild is particularly interesting, and one where Evans and Round proposed relatively similar analyses. In slightly different ways, both claimed that there were two TAM features in Kayardild. Among all the other unusual traits of Kayardild this one had not drawn particular attention: however, while it is perfectly possible for a language to have two features of the same type, this is relatively unusual. In the current paper we have given a reanalysis of TAM in Kayardild which is cross-linguistically more usual.

We have treated it in a way that fits more readily within the typology of feature systems. In doing so, we had to look carefully at the arguments which would justify postulating two features rather than one, and this constitutes our contribution to the more general typology of feature systems. These arguments led us to revisit the corpus of Kayardild, to check on the instances which are rare or in some cases questionable, and to give a more refined analysis of the data.

We have moved from the fascination of an interesting corner of the grammar of Kayardild, to the typology of features, and back to the corpus of Kayardild. As a result, we found Kayardild to be both exotic and ordinary. This support is gratefully acknowledged.

A version of this paper was given at the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, University College London, September ; we thank those present for useful discussion. We are also grateful to Penny Everson for her help in preparing the manuscript. Finally, we are thankful to two anonymous referees and to the Editors for their careful reading and helpful suggestions.

In essence we have clarified and extended proposals sketched there. This section contains detailed evidence on key empirical points bearing directly on the question of whether we analyse Kayardild as having one TAM feature or two. Rehearsing this evidence is essential for setting our argument on a firm footing. The essential points are: in Appendix A. We begin by introducing the corpus in Appendix A. The corpus comprises on the order of 12, distinct39 multiword utterances in Ka-yardild, sourced from recordings by Stephen Wurm in ; Normal B.

Tindale in and ; Nick Evans from to the present; and Erich Round from to ; as well as printed examples in Evans a, b, and Round , All transcriptions were by Erich Round, produced between and the present. The recordings by Wurm, which supply many of the example sentences in Evans a , were transcribed in full. Other recording sets were transcribed in part. For printed sources, full-text searches were conducted using literal strings. This was the variety studied by Evans a and Round With this in mind, we were careful to ensure that examples in our corpus should be representative of that variety and not any other, as both Round 3 and Evans a: , 65, ,, note that younger speakers' Kayardild can differ morphologically from the classical variety.

Wurm and Tindale recorded only the variety of Kayardild that we wish to focus on, and in Round's and Evans' recordings, speakers of that variety can be reliably. However, in the case of written examples for which we have not found a corresponding recording, our approach was to exercise caution. The experience of the first author is that even speakers of classical Kayardild will at times accept suggested, ungrammatical sentences of Kayardild as grammatical, and speakers of non-classical varieties may do the same when asked to judge putative sentences of the classical language.

For this reason, we place a low level of certainty on the representativeness, with respect to classical Kayardild, of sentences which are obviously constructed by linguists, such as those in Evans which illustrate TAM possibilities by the presentation of a paradigm-like set of minimally varying sentences; and sentences which are possibly constructed by linguists, such as some few sentences from Evans a which vary minimally from attested, recorded sentences by Wurm.

That being said, such examples were few in number, and we will mention them only infrequently in the remainder of the appendix. In this section we present syntactic evidence which makes Round's postulation of a negatory value of tama untenable. We refine this slightly: the surface forms at issue are markers of both case:privative and TAM, namely tama:instantiated. In examples 27 - 30 of Sect. In such sentences, DPs within the vP have been attested with inflections for tama:instantiated 28 , tama:future 29 and tama:prior All other morphology in A.

Two remarks can be made, which support the plausibility of this analysis. First, in A. Semantically, this is not identical to the usual function of the Kayardild privative case, which is to mark something which is lacking or absent, but it represents an entirely plausible,. Round proposes a different analysis. The athematic marker -n-marri is also analysed as a marker of TAM, namely tamt:nonveridical. A glossing according to Round's analysis is in A. However, our corpus survey raised three problems for Round's analysis.

Moreover, if one DP in that VP is marked for the tama value, then all should be, because they would inherit their tama value in a precisely parallel fashion from the dominating VP node. Three pieces of evidence indicate that the analysis in terms of case is correct. Such sentences are rare, but our corpus reveals two.

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Sentence A. An analysis in terms of case:privative is feasible, however. However in A. Yet we find two examples which contradict this prediction. For multiple reasons, the marker cannot be a realization of tama. In contrast, its distribution and semantics are consistent with privative case. We may add that when the verb of a clause is negated, either with -n-marri or by other means, then an available reading of case:privative is as a simple negative predicate.

Accordingly, we remove negatory from the list of tama values to be considered in Sects. A question then arises regarding the status of the -n-marri inflection on thematic stems, which Round analyses as tamt:nonveridical. We turn to this next. In this section our focus is on Round's tamt:nonveridical feature, realized as -n-marri on thematic stems. We draw attention to an alternative, feasible analysis, according to which nonveridical is a value not of tamt but of polarity. In Round's system, there are two inflectional categories which share the properties of conveying clause-level semantic negation and appearing on thematic stems, though they are organized as values of two different morphosyntactic features: polarity:negative and tamt:nonveridical.

These are not the only similarities between them. In Appendix A. Recalling Sect. The chief difference is that polarity:negative is typically realized morphologically as an affix distinct from tamt, which follows it, whereas the nonveridical appears alone on the thematic stem, unaccompanied by any other overt marker of tamt.

Our essential observation here is that there is no substantial impediment to analysing the nonveridical as a value of polarity. A nonveridical value of polarity would simply be one which is not accompanied by an overt realization of tamt. Recall from Sect.

Introduction to Verb Tenses // Purdue Writing Lab

Blocking relationships like this are found elsewhere in the Kayardild inflectional system, for example between the two complementization features Round It is, of course, a frequent and expected situation to find negation cross-cutting with TAM. In this section we argue, contrary to Round's analysis, that Kayardild has only two distinct, present-like TAM types, not three. The issue here hinges upon non equivalences between TAM types in Kayardild's complementized clauses, which we abbreviate as c-clauses, and its uncomplementized full clauses, which we abbreviate as u-clauses.

The key observational fact is that in c-clauses there is just one pattern of present-like TAM inflection, which we can call present-c, and in u-clauses there are two, which we refer to here as present-u1 and present-u2. In terms of their TAM feature values, Round analyses all three as distinct, whereas Evans a treats present-c and present-u2 as equivalent, and thus distinguishes only two types.

The feature values assigned to the present-u1, present-u2 and present-c by Round and Evans are summarized in Table A. As we see in Table A. Earlier, in Sect. First, however, let us review the inflectional forms involved. Example sentences are in A. Comparing Tables A. Round departs from this in the case of the athematic stems. We can begin the argument with example sentences. Evans a: and Round both observe that present-c differs semantically from present-u1 and present-u2. Evans places this observation in the context of the tense semantics of subordinate c-clauses more generally.

He notes that for all of Kayardild's TAM types which occur both in u-clauses and c-clauses, the semantics in subordinate c-clauses shifts, and in most cases is understood as relative to the matrix clause Evans a: By this logic, it is appropriate to. On this point, we agree with Evans. In contrast, we draw attention to a second use of c-clauses, which is not as subordinate clauses but as topicalized main clauses, as in A.

Our conclusion from this is that Kayardild has a default non-future TAM type, which we identify with present-u1 and present-c, and label actual following both Evans' and Round's practice when labelling it in u-clauses. In subordinate c-clauses, where all tense meanings are 'shifted', the actual TAM type is used as a simultaneous tense.

In addition, Kayardild possesses an immediate present present-u2 , which occurs only in u-clauses. Many Australian languages possess an apprehensive category of TAM, which is used to refer to undesirable events which should be avoided Dixon , Blake Kayardild has three putative apprehensive TAM types. In this section we show that only two are well motivated, and of them, one appears to be restricted to complementized clauses.

The third is rare and is ambiguous in the sense of Sect. Sentences A. Round does not explicitly take this context into account, though his primary concern is with the syntactic issue, whose status we have reinterpreted Sect. Apprehensive clauses such as A. The other two require comment. Apprehensive clauses with tama:future are restricted.

In complementized ap-prehensives, tama:future is used as frequently as tama:emotive. Our corpus contains six instances of the former and five of the latter,42 and from this small set of sentences, we were able to identify no obvious semantic difference between them. In uncomplementized clauses, our corpus contains many dozen instances of tama:emotive but only two putative examples of tama:future, one of which we will discount.

Example A. We suggest that in A. According to that analysis, the tama value of the second clause in A. Next we consider apprehensives with putative tama:instantiated, which is realized by L0C. A discussion of A. The final word of A. The most straightforward account of the word wambaliya in A. Focus DPs inflect for the second of Kayardild's complementization features, plain comple-. Focus DPs in Kayardild can occur within comple-mentized clauses or can be freestanding.

They are reported in Evans a: — only in relation to freestanding instances, but are discussed at some length in Round For current purposes, it should be noted that the comp feature which marks words in focus DPs is realized by the same pLOC suffix that realizes tama:instantiated. Consequently, in sentence A. Their tama value is not instantiated but emotive. The regular, tama:emotive value receives no overt realization, because neither clause in A.


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  • Let us now return gradually to Evans' example, A. Our corpus contains just three other clauses whose structure is parallel to A. We may begin with example A. Watch your child, or he'll get burnt in the flames. Of the three clauses in A. The final clause is a regular apprehensive. Its tama:emotive value is realized on the location denoting DP yaluluntha 'in the flames'. This is normal in Kayardild, where location denoting DPs typically inflect for tama Round , In the first clause though, the location denoting DP kaburrbaya is inflected with pLOC, which we might at first suppose is a realization of tama:instantiated.

    However, Evans' a: 3 claim was that apprehensives with tama:instantiated should denote undesirable events already taking place. This is not true in the first clause of A.

    Tense Mood And Aspect Theoretical And Descriptive Issues

    Thus, either we must weaken our claim about the semantics of tama:instantiated apprehen-sives, or seek another analysis. Two other analyses are possible. The first alternative analysis of A. Two semantic interpretations would be available for the sentence: either as 'he, at the fire, might burn', or 'he, in the fire, might burn'. On the first reading, the locative DP refers to the. On the second reading, 'unde-sirability' scopes over the whole clause, including the to-be-averted location of the subject 'in the fire'.

    As we will see soon, the second interpretation is always available in these examples; the first is not. Returning to the mechanics of inflection, because it modifies the subject, the DP kaburrbaya would not inflect for tama, cf. We do not see any realization of emotive because there are no DPs in the right position to inflect for it.

    A second alternative analysis of A. Freestanding focus DPs are often used in Kayardild to draw attention to the existence of the DP's referent Round In this case, one would assume the addressee is already aware of the existence of the fire, so the focus DP analysis is perhaps doubtful. In sum, there are three potential analyses of A. First, kaburrbaya is inflected for tama:instantiated; if this is so then we need to revise the putative semantics of tama:instantiated apprehensives, so that they do not refer solely to events that are already occurring.

    Second, kaburrbaya is LOCATIvE modifier of the subject, denoting either 'at the fire' outside the scope of 'undesirable' or 'in the fire' under the scope be 'undesirable'. Third, kaburrbaya is a focus DP, though this is perhaps doubtful. Let us turn next to A. Just like A. The DPs marked with pLOC denote locations or environmental conditions, and so can be interpreted in various ways.

    The first is that pLOC realizes tama:instantiated, provided, as before, that we relax the semantic conditions on tama:instantiated apprehensives. It could also be realizing case:locative, in which case it modifies the subject, though interestingly in these instances, this only works if we interpret the. DP in question as falling under the scope of 'undesirable': 'in the hole', 'in the sun'.

    And loc could be a realization of comp, marking a freestanding focus DP.

    Grammatical Features Inventory

    This seems plausible in A. Let us now examine the final example in our corpus, namely our example from Evans a , repeated here in A. In sum, there are just four known clauses which are similar to A. If we wish to argue that L0C in those clauses realizes tama:instantiated, then we will need to relax the semantic definition of tama:instantiated apprehensives. Moreover, all four of the DPs which puta-tively inflect for tama:instantiated are DPs that denote locations or DPs which Kayardild grammar treats as locations ; conversely, none of the attested apprehensive clauses in Kayardild which contain direct objects use tama:instantiated.

    There is a simple and parsimonious account of this. Namely, Kayardild does not possess tama:instantiated apprehensive clauses. The one proviso, is that the 'undesirable' meaning in apprehensive clauses must be understood as at least potentially taking scope over the entire clause, including the subject DP and its modifiers.

    To summarize Appendix A. The first, with tama:emotive is widely attested. The second, with tama:future is restricted to complementized clauses. Judging from a small set of examples, its semantics are not distinct from clauses which use tama:emotive. The third type, with putative tama:instantiated is attested in four tokens. In all of these, the L0C suffix which would mark tama:instantiated is also consistent with two alternative analyses, of which the most convincing is that loc marks case:locative.

    We conclude that the simplest and most un-problematic analysis of the data is that Kayardild has just two apprehensive TAM types, one with tama:emotive and one, restricted to complementized clauses, with tama:future. In this section we draw attention to the fact that the combination of tama:instan-tiated and tamt:potential is used only in counterfactual clauses.

    This is relevant for our analysis in Sect. Between examples A. The full story, however, is more subtle. Firstly, if we search for positive polarity counterparts to A. Instead, positive polarity non-future potentials in Wurm's corpus are translated into Kayardild with the TAM categories not of A. These repeat our earlier examples 6 and 7 , but with glossing following Round In sum, it appears at first glance from A. At the end of this process, a revised list of eleven tamt and fifteen tamt values is given in A. One advantage of adopting a one-feature analysis is that the.

    These are the values we consider in Sects. That discussion leads us in turn to the conclusion that Kayardild can best be analysed with a single feature for TAM. Arkad'ev, Petr. Teorija grammatiki v svete faktov jazyka kajardilt [The theory of grammar in the light of data from Kayardild]. Voprosy jazykoznanija. Aronoff, M. Morphology by itself: Stems and inflectional classes. Linguistic inquiry monograph: Vol.

    Cambridge: MIT Press. Baerman, M.

    Person by other means. Haspelmath Eds. Berlin: De Gruyter. The syntax-morphology interface: A study of syncretism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bakker, P. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Michif: A mixed language based on Cree and French. Thoma-son Ed. Contact languages: A wider perspective pp. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Belyaev, O. Osetinskij kakjazyks dvuxpadeznoj sistemoj: gruppovajafleksijai drugieparadoksy padeznogo markirovanija [Ossetic as a language with a double case system: Phrasal inflection and other paradoxes of case marking].

    Voprosy jazykoznanija, 6, Chomsky, N. Derivation by phase. Kenstowicz Ed. Corbett, G. Classic problems at the syntax-morphology interface: Whose are they? CSLI Publications. Features, orthogonality, typology. Dench, A. Multiple case-marking in Australian languages. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 8, Evans, N. Kayardild field recordings. A grammar of Kayardild: With historical-comparative notes on Tangkic.

    Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Multiple case in Kayardild: Anti-iconic suffix order and the diachronic filter. Plank Ed. New York: Oxford University Press. Kayardild language tutorial. In: Linguistics association of Great Britain, autumn meeting, September, Colchester: University of Essex. Typologies of agreement: Some problems from Kayardild. Brown, G. Tiberius Eds. Oxford: Blackwell. Inflection in Nen. Baerman Ed. Frajzyngier, Z. Tense and aspect as coding means for information structure: A potential areal feature. Journal of West African Languages, 30 2 , Goddard, C.

    Case systems and case marking in Australian languages: A new interpretation. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 2, Haviland, J. Guugu Yimidhirr. Blake Eds. Canberra: Australian National University Press. Case and gender: Concept formation between morphology and syntax II volumes. Studies in Slavic and general linguistics: Vol. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Nordlinger, R. Nominal tense in crosslinguistic perspective. Language, 80 4 , Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 22, Round, E. New Haven: Yale University. Morphomes as a level of representation capture unity of exponence across the inflection-derivation divide.

    Linguistica, 51, Rhizomorphomes, meromorphomes and metamorphomes. Baerman, D. Corbett Eds. Kayardild inflectional morphotactics is morphomic. Tindale, N. Recordings, Gulf of Carpentaria expedition Wittenburg, P. ELAN: A professional framework for multimodality research. Wurm, S. Recordings made in the Gayadilt language of Bentinck Island. The theory of feature systems: One feature versus two for Kayardild tense-aspect-mood Academic research paper on " Languages and literature ".

    CC BY. Similar topics of scientific paper in Languages and literature , author of scholarly article — Erich R. Round, Greville G. Corbett Past time reference in a language with optional tense. A tree does not make a well-formed sentence: Improving syntactic string-to-tree statistical machine translation with more linguistic knowledge.

    This article is published with open access at Springerlink. Round e. And while we do occasionally meet analyses which include concurrent features, this whole issue is rarely discussed though 1 This is therefore different to the issue discussed by Frajzyngier , where languages appear to have two TAM systems in complementary distribution, such that a given clause makes use of only one of them.

    These case distinctions are orthogonal to lexical meaning: if we know what devuska 'girl' means, 2We recognize that NUMBER is not fully orthogonal to lexical meaning: not all nouns have a plural, though there are established regularities as to which these are likely to be in a given language Corbett Equally we have seen other case features like that of Russian, with or without a number 3 There is more to be said about case and number in Russian, since there are additional, less straightforward case values; for the detail, see Corbett Guugu Yimidhirr 1 Ngayu nhinaan yiimuun gunda-l 1SG.

    NOM 2SG. ACC this. Guugu Yimidhirr 3 Gabirr-inh nhaamuun nganhi bulii-ma-ni.

    Tense, Aspect, and Modality in Qumran Hebrew Texts

    ERG 1SG. The several functions of proprietive case are the adnominal proprietive which relates a DP to another DP, the relational proprietive which relates a DP to its clause, and the modal proprietive which conveys TAM semantics marked primarily on nominals. It is no longer necessary, either to build an umbrella notion of case, or to divorce the analysis of 12See Nordlinger and Sadler a for TAM marking on nominals in cross-linguistic perspective.

    Example 8 shows that predictability is also lacking in 16We cite sources of examples as follows: those from Evans a and Round are cited as [Epp. For Evans the solution is 'category-changing inflection', which gives rise to mismatches between the syntactic and morphological classes of 'nominal' and 'verbal' words see Evans a: , , Round demonstrates that for Kayardild such an analysis is not nec- essary.

    IMP dathina tatina that. As a matter of principle, this kind of assessment is only possible where we have some idea of the independent meanings of f:a and g:b. In both systems, it is most efficient to begin with a statement that by default, a TAM feature value is compatible with u-clauses and c-clauses; after that only the exceptions need to be listed. However, in terms of 35Round notes that for some TAM types the available data underdetermines which node precisely they associate with. We are thus making a methodological point: taking the 36See Corbett and Fedden for extended discussion of potentially concurrent gender and classifier systems.

    Appendix: Corpus study This section contains detailed evidence on key empirical points bearing directly on the question of whether we analyse Kayardild as having one TAM feature or two. Wurm and Tindale recorded only the variety of Kayardild that we wish to focus on, and in Round's and Evans' recordings, speakers of that variety can be reliably 39That is, the same content uttered on multiple occasions is counted only once.

    Semantically, this is not identical to the usual function of the Kayardild privative case, which is to mark something which is lacking or absent, but it represents an entirely plausible, subsidiary function of a privative case category. ACT bithiinbala burukuraaj. Table A. Focus DPs inflect for the second of Kayardild's complementization features, plain comple- 46The root wambal- is polysemous.

    On the first reading, the locative DP refers to the subject's current location, and in terms of scope, the 'undesirability' conveyed by the clause pertains solely to the clausal predicate 'burn'. It could also be realizing case:locative, in which case it modifies the subject, though interestingly in these instances, this only works if we interpret the DP in question as falling under the scope of 'undesirable': 'in the hole', 'in the sun'.

    Springer A. One advantage of adopting a one-feature analysis is that the These are the values we consider in Sects. References Arkad'ev, Petr. Bank, S. The algebraic structure of morphosyntactic features. Nordlyd, 41, Blake, B. Australian aboriginal grammar. London: Croom Helm. Dixon, R. The languages of Australia. Constructive case. Stanford: CSLI.