A grammatical category expressing the time when a state or action denoted by a verb occurs.

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How verb tenses evolve

I have two questions on this topic. The firstmay be too general, but basically, I am curious as to how tenses evolve and whether tenses between languages can be used to help find out whether languages ...
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0answers
28 views

Do any language lack a present tense different from that used in Indoeuropean languages?

i wonder if the present tense (a tense denoting the present and only the present) is a universal in languages that have tense. Or do some languages have a present tense that extends into the recent ...
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1answer
43 views

What are some languages that are least/most tense-sensitive? [closed]

I'd like to know what are some extremes. My mother tongue is Japanese, and it's quite less tense-sensitive compared to English since it doesn't have the past-perfect. But I wonder what some even less ...
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4answers
141 views

Grammatical Aspect and Lexical Aspect

This is my first question here. I normally participate in ELU. This question was posted yesterday http://english.stackexchange.com/q/289903/129806. The OP asks why They build a house next to mine. ...
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0answers
41 views

What evidence is there that the primary distinction of the French tense system is between past and non-past?

How would one go about answering this question: Consider the justification for the claim that the primary division in the French tense system is between past and non-past?
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1answer
96 views

Have the Spanish tenses stopped evolving?

I suspect that evolution of Spanish tenses stopped, while being in the middle of replacement of conjugated tenses by compound tenses. In some scenarios compound tense was adopted, in some other cases ...
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1answer
86 views

Is there any language where time is grammaticalised by inflections on something other than its verbs?

I wonder if there's a language where grammatical tense is not expressed by inflections on its verbs, but by inflecting some other part of speech?
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5answers
203 views

Can present tense be more marked?

Are there languages that overtly mark present tense, rather than future/past? In other words, is the present ever more marked? There doesn't seem to be a way to search for it in WALS, unfortunately.
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2answers
116 views

Are there any languages with a plufuture for tense sequencing?

(I admit a Romance bias in asking this question, perhaps expressing what I'm looking for is quite common in other families) After answering a question recently on the Spanish SE on tense sequencing, ...
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1answer
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In Latin protases, what's the different between the future and future perfect tenses?

In Latin, so-called "future more vivid" conditionals can take one of two tenses in the protasis: Future: Si aedificabis, venient "If you build it, they will come." Future perfect: Si aedificaveris, ...
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835 views

Languages with no past tense?

Is there a name for languages that have no specific past tense? For example, in the language of Kiribati there is no separation between past and present tense. To indicate the past, one must specify ...
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3answers
251 views

Relationship between possession (“to have”) and tenses (“I have seen”)

In several Indo-European languages the verb that denotes possession (to have) is also used to construct verb tenses. Some examples: I have seen ... I have a dog. (English) Am văzut ... Am un ...
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Imperfective aspect or Future tense?

There is a suffix in Kyrgyz and I am not sure whether it denotes future tense or imperfective aspect. Are there any tests which can help me to distinguish between imperfective aspect and future tense? ...
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1answer
214 views

Which languages conflate (imperfective) past and irrealis, and why?

In English, the "simple past" form of a verb can sometimes be used to convey irrealis meanings, without any preterite sense: If I was rich, I'd buy a Porsche. If you only knew! I'd like to be able ...
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1answer
161 views

How future tense was expressed in PIE?

It is known that PIE had no grammatical future tense. As such, I wonder how future events were expressed in PIE. Whether they used go-periphrasis, desiratives or a form of the root bheudh- (grow, ...
3
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1answer
456 views

Rules of forming past participle tense and perfect tense of a verb in Latin? [closed]

What are the rules of forming past participle tense and perfect tense of a verb in Latin? For example, about the word "parsimony (n.)", from etymonline early 15c., from Latin parsimonia ...
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3answers
790 views

Is there a difference between a preterite and an aorist?

I am reading about aorist and preterite verb forms. It seems that they are both forms which express perfective aspect and past tense. Is the difference between them simply in differing terminology or ...
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1answer
500 views

What does “speech time” mean?

Tense is the grammatical expression of the location of events in time. It anchors (or ‘grounds’) an event to the speaker’s experience of the world by relating the event time to a point of ...
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1answer
522 views

Is 'should' a Tense?

I'm trying to write a syntax tree structure of a sentence with the word 'should'. It's a long sentence, so to simply, let's take this sentence instead: I should play the piano. I'm not sure ...
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3answers
288 views

Do languages with high use of grammatical aspect generally lack grammatical tense?

From my understanding of Chinese, the language lacks any sort of grammatical tense but is instead very aspect driven when describing actions. Is this a reoccurring pattern among languages with a high ...
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2answers
248 views

Which indigenous languages have marked Ancestral/Mythological Past in grammars?

I have found a mention on such a system among some South American native languages in Adam Jacot de Boinod's book I Never Knew There's A Word For It. Non-academic reading, which doesn't make it less ...
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1answer
213 views

How is the hesternal past, crastinal future etc. conveyed?

Hesternal Past tense describes an event occurred yesterday (in an absolute tense system) or the day preceding the day under consideration (in a relative system) and the crastinal future describes and ...
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4answers
352 views

What is the present tense expressing future?

Perhaps this question has been asked before, I may have looked for the wrong terms then because I haven't found the answer. I would like to know more about the usage of the present tense in sentences ...
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2answers
198 views

What's the best term for the group of concepts pertaining to verbs which includes tense, mood, and aspect?

There are many named concepts which relate to verbs across many languages. The three most well known would be tense, aspect, and mood. But person, number, and voice are others, and there must be many ...
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2answers
186 views

Why isn't the future participle more diffuse in modern languages?

The Ancient Greek had a participle for the future tense, and the only language I know it uses the future tense is Esperanto. Is there a reason why the future participle appears to be rare ...
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3answers
645 views

Is there any language that doesn't express Tense but allows “aspectual coercion”?

Mandarin Chinese appears to be a language that may not express tense (at least in the way I will define below), and it does not seem to allow aspectual coercion. By not expressing Tense I mean, such ...
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2answers
274 views

How did English and Portuguese develop the construction “have+pp”?

Native Portuguese speakers (myself included) often have a hard time dealing with the English present perfect tense-aspect. In English, the present perfect is used for expressing past actions with ...
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2answers
632 views

Are there any non-Indo-European languages with go-periphrasis?

Some Indo-European languages have a construction called go-periphrasis, by which some form of the verb go is used in conjunction with the main verb to mark tense. Most languages that have this feature ...