To some extent, vowels can be predicted based on the size of the vowel inventory, so, for example, in a 3-vowel system, it will be /a i u/, whereas in a 4-vowel system, we will get /a i u ɛ/ or /a i u ɨ/ etc. (based on Crothers 1978). We can also predict consonants, to a limited degree, based on their numbers, place of articulation etc. In addition, we can predict the colour terms based on the number of colours distinguished in the system.
Hence, I would like to know what kind of implicational tree can one draw when we think of the TAM categories (separately - as tense, aspect and mood - or as a bundle), e.g. if a language only has two tenses, what are they (not)?
I could imagine something like this:
- 2 tenses: past vs. non-past or future vs. non-future
- 3 tenses: past vs. present vs. future
- 4 tenses: past I vs. present I vs. past II vs. present II
I will be grateful for any relevant references too.