Author Topic: What types of words are time referents  (Read 26 times)

Offline josephusflav

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What types of words are time referents
« on: November 20, 2017, 12:26:38 AM »
I know verbs,nouns, adjectives can bare temporal markings.
 
"God exists" verb
"God is a existing being" adjective
"Swimming is fun" noun

Are there other types of words indicate time?




Online Daniel

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Re: What types of words are time referents
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2017, 04:06:42 AM »
In English, generally time (tense, or aspect) is only marked on verbs.

When other words seem to have similar suffixes, that is because they are used as derivational suffixes to derive an adjective or noun from a verb. (-ing derives both adjectives and nouns from verbs; and -ed/-en, the past participle, derives adjective forms from verbs. Note that sometimes they still function like verbs as in complex tenses like "was eating".)

There are, however, some languages that do have real tense marking on nouns. You can read about it here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominal_TAM

The closest parallel in English would be expressions like "ex-wife" or "ex-president" (past), vs. "future-present" or "president-elect" (future). We rarely use expressions like that (although "ex-" is not so uncommon).

As for adjectives, there are many languages that do not fully distinguish between adjectives and verbs. So if you find a language with a "past tense adjective" it is probably just a past tense verb with an English translation as an adjective. Imagine if "green" is a verb meaning "to be green", something like "The leaf greens" (=is green). I don't know of languages that have something like "adjectival tense" when adjectives are not like verbs. Maybe some languages could also use the nominal tense marking on adjectives, like "The ex-green leaf"? I'm not sure about that.
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Offline Audiendus

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Re: What types of words are time referents
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2017, 08:16:18 AM »
Some English adjectives indicate tense or aspect, such as 'past', 'present', 'future', 'former' and 'current'.

Then there are temporal prefixes such as 'pre', 'post' and 'proto'.

Online Daniel

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Re: What types of words are time referents
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2017, 09:10:12 AM »
Lots of content words relate to time. But that's not the same thing as grammatical tense.

(To be clear "ex-president" is also not really grammatical tense, so that's not real nominal tense in English. But that's just a rough approximation analogy to some languages such as Guarani in South America that really do have nominal tense grammatically.)
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