[b-hebrew] Tenses and aspects; was: footnotes
pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Tue Aug 9 09:39:01 EDT 2005
It might be helpful to determine whether the term "deictic centre" is
being used in a consistent way in the discussion here.
It seems to me that Peter is calling "deictic centre" what Rolf calls
the "reference point" or "reference time".
In my understanding, the deictic centre is normally at speech time, but
can occasionally be moved, as sometimes happens in letter writing: "I
have attached a document to this letter" or "I will attach a document to
this letter" have different deictic centres, one at the time of writing,
and one at the time of reading. Here I think Rolf is using the term in
its usual meaning.
When speaking of relative tense, though, we are speaking of the
relationship between a *reference time* and the time of the event.
It seems to me that Rolf calls any relationship between the reference
time and the event time "aspect", and any relationship between the
deictic centre (the time of the communication, which is normally the
speech time) and the time of the event "tense". (Please correct me if I
have misunderstood you.) Marion Johnson's work supports Rolf's usage
here, but it has not yet become standard.
So Rolf has no need of the labels "absolute tense" and "relative tense";
these are simply "tense" and "aspect", respectively. Now, of course,
there are different kinds of relationships between the event and the
reference time (e.g. inclusion, precedence), so there would be
correspondingly different kinds of aspects.
Have I captured your views accurately?
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