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Re: [long] Re: On the tense system
la xorxes. cusku di'e
> You say "pu'o is the time before the event"
> I think this means "a point in time before the event", where the point
> can be taken as a co'i type of point, but it doesn't mean
> "all of time, from time immemorial, to the begining of the event"
> The same goes for the other two.
On the contrary. It does in principle mean "all of time to the beginning
of the event", because pu'o/ca'o/ba'o represent spans of time, not points
> (If the definitions of pu'o and ba'o were reversed, as I think would
> be natural, this would be: mi ba'o damba. = I'm on the verge of fighting
> which shows clearly that the fighting is in the future)
I agree that such a reversal would be more perspicuous, but it's too late
now. This is of a piece with the PU vs. BAI confusions.
> In your picture, you write the word at the place of the reference point,
> and use the same graph to show the three tenses. I prefer to separate
> them because some parts of the graph are irrelevant to some tenses, eg
> the end of the event is irrelevant to pu'o, the beginning is irrelevant
> to ba'o, and both boundaries are irrelevant to ca'o.
Both boundaries are relevant, not irrelevant, to "ca'o"; they are precisely
the boundaries of that span.
> For co'u the existence of a natural ending may or may not be relevant.
> For za'o I'm not certain whether I got the 0 in the right place, but
> from the example in the paper it seems right:
> ____le xirma ca za'o jivna bajra___
> The horse [present][superfective] compete-type-of-runs
> The horse keeps on running a race too long.
Again, "za'o" is a span, the span whose boundaries are the natural ending
point (co'u) and the actual ending point (mo'u).
> 2) the semantics of the ZAhO as sumti tcita is unnecessarily different
> from that of the rest of the tenses. This I think is important, and this
> is the cause of the switched ba'o and pu'o.
You will perhaps notice the version number on the published tense paper,
namely 3.11. One reason for this value is that I tried many times to make
ZAhO consistent with the rest of the paper. I could not; usage had already
settled several points, consistently or inconsistently. I hold consistency
to be a virtue, but not the only virtue; sometimes usage wins. (In the
end, usage always wins, and we are very close to the end now.)