Jul23/C6 –  A Constructed Language

Jul23/C6 Tense, Aspect, and Permanence

Legend: Definitions, Terms, <Text>, [IPA], -Tags-, and "Glosses".

Permanence and Predicate Class

Each predicate implicitly has 1 of the 3 levels of permanence: inherent, habitual (or long term), and transient (or short term). There are 2 classes of inherent predicates, mass and count, and 1 class of habitual predicates, while transient predicates fall into 4 classes: scalar, other static, telic, and other dynamic. The scalar and other static classes are the same except that the scalar morphosyntax applies only to scalar roots.

Tense, Aspect, and Permanence Inflections

There are class override suffixes that make the predicate refer to an entity where the property is inherent; these occupy the permanence slot, which preempts the aspect and tense slots.

The aspects are inherent, habitual, stative, perfect, progressive, prospective, and aoristic. The 1st component of the predicate's class determines which aspect is unmarked; while perfect and prospective are always marked, stative, is never marked. The aspect slot is the 1st suffix slot following the last auxiliary predicate, if any, or the root predicate or scalar stem.

The tenses are present (unmarked), past, and future. The tense slot follows the aspect slot. Some combinations of aspect and tense don't occur; specifically, since absolute present aoristic can't occur, past tense is unmarked whenever the predicate has aoristic aspect.

Aspect and Tense Suffixes
ASCII Tag Name Slot
.U -Mas Mass Inherent Permanence
.N -Inh Count Inherent
% -Hab Habitual Aspect
@ -Prg Progressive
\ -Aor Aoristic
] -Prf Perfect
[ -Pro Prospective
) -Pst Past Tense
( -Fut Future

Tense and Aspect Usage

Class and Aspect

The aspects distinguished are habitual, stative, perfect, progressive, prospective, and aoristic. Lexically inherent predicates normally lack aspect and tense, although this can be overridden by using the aspect and tense suffixes.

The following table shows the attributes for each class. The Label is the 1st component of the predicate's class label. The Aspect 0 column gives the unmarked aspect for each class; note that the perfect and prospective aspects must alway be marked.

Class Attributes
Label Name Aspect 0 Permanence
M Mass - Inherent
N Count
H Habitual Habitual Habitual
S Scalar Stative Transient
O Other Static
T Telic Aoristic
V Other Dynamic Progressive

Aspect Usage

The basic usage of the aspects is as follows:

Time Specification

Tense is the grammatical specification of time, relative to some temporal point of reference. If this is the time of utterance, the term absolute time is used; otherwise, the term relative time is used.

Although tense is marked only on the heads of final and condition clauses, stative predicates, and habitual predicates, time applies to all non-inherent predicates. Note that the perfect, prospective, and aoristic aspects also affect time specification:

If the tense of the final or condition clause head is present (unmarked), the default temporal point of reference for the rest of that sub-chain remains absolute; otherwise, it becomes relative to the time specified by the head. The exception to this is the occurrence of the sequential foreground clause terminator (.s, Seq) which changes the default temporal point of reference for that clause and any preceding clauses to past relative to the current default. However, this is significant only when the current default is absolute time. Any other tense or aspect marking affects at most the clause in which it appears.

Tense Usage

page started: 2015.Jul.29 Wed
current date: 2015.Aug.12 Wed
content and form originated by qiihoskeh

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