[b-hebrew] Tenses and aspects; was: footnotes

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Aug 9 07:21:41 EDT 2005


On 09/08/2005 07:18, Vadim Cherny wrote:

> ...
>
>>>... Your example is
>>>exactly similar: it was apparently customary in Hebrew, as now in
>>>      
>>>
>Russian,
>  
>
>>>to use future tense with "as," "because," etc for past reference. ...
>>>      
>>>
>>Please can you send me an example sentence in Russian, perhaps off list.
>>In all my studies of Russian I have never seen a future tense with past
>>reference in this sense.
>>
>>    
>>
>
>A person emphatically describing his earlier communication, and transposing
>himself into the past deictic center: "He told me - get out. А я ему как
>скажу - да пошел ты! (And I *as will tell* him - bug off!)" Even participle
>is the same.
>
>  
>
OK, but this example does not use "as" or "because", and it uses a well 
known special idiom in which the formally past indicative form 
пошел/пошли is used as an imperative "go!". I think we all accept that 
there may be special idiomatic usages in which the normal tense rules do 
not apply. Also, it is a past tense with future reference, whereas you 
wrote before of future tense with past reference.

>You are right. I tried an English example closest to the Russian. In
>Russian, emphatic or colloquial, you can use present tense about the past
>perfect events, "Каждый раз, как я его встречу, я ему говорю..." (Each time
>I *will meet* him, I say to him) even about the very dead person.
>
>  
>
Yes, this is an example of future tense (встречу is not a present tense) 
with past reference. But is it really normal to write говорю (present) 
rather than говорил (past imperfective) when the person is dead and the 
activity has ceased? And if the verb in the main clause is past, does 
the verb in the subordinate clause remain future?

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/




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