Thursday, July 22, 2010

English grammar and tenses

The current description of English tenses is so inadequate and, in fact, false.

1. I come from Jersey City, but I am coming from Trenton.
2. I am coming from Trenton.
3. I come from Jersey City.
4. Sun rises in the east.
5. He bought a scratcher.
6*. They've done at midnight
7. They've always done at midnight whenever I go on duty in the morning.

Present: 2
Exochronous: 3,4
Past factual: 5
Exochronous anterior: 7

present anterior: have + V
past anterior: had + V
present posterior: gonna + V
modal anterior: could/should/would, must/should/ought, may/will/can + have

Modals are either generic or posterior


Whenever we describe temporally, we either say it factually or otherwise.

Past factual
Past counter factual

present counterfactual

Future: expectative, neutral, dubitative (non-expectative)

irrealis: less probable than real
surrealis: more probable than real

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