Bernard Comrie defines tense as the grammaticalisation of location in time. In this textbook he introduces readers to the range of variation found in tense systems across the languages of the world, bringing together a rich collection of illustrative material that student and specialist alike will find invaluable. This systematic account of the data is carefully integrated with a theoretical discussion of tense that is sensitive both to the range of tense oppositions found cross-linguistically and also to the constraints on that variation. For the most part the book is written without formalism, nor is it written within the framework of any specific current theory of linguistics. Nevertheless, as the final chapter makes clear, a formal theory of tense can build upon the insights gained here. For all readers, Dr Comrie's coherent and characteristically elegant account of this complex grammatical category will provide a solid basis for further research on tense, even in a language as thoroughly studied as English.
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absolute tense absolute time reference absolute-relative tenses adverbial auxiliary Bahinemo Bamileke-Dschang Burera chapter characterisation collocation Comrie context crucial cut-off point degrees of remoteness deictic centre deictic centre analysis deixis discussion Dyirbal earlier on today English established examples finished his manuscript flight 26 future perfect future tense future time reference given grammatical category grammaticalised implicature indicates indirect speech instance interaction interpretation irrealis John's arrival Kiksht languages lexical items linguistic literally locate a situation Luganda main clause main verb mbab modal non-finite verb non-future non-past participle past reference point past situation past tense past time reference perfective aspect pluperfect possible present tense present time reference recent past relation relative tense relative time reference relevant representation Russian sentence sequence of tenses simple past simply situation is located situations holding speaker specific subjunctive subordinate clause temporal distance tense opposition tense system theory of tense tion verb forms Yandruwandha yesterday
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Language in Cognitive Development: The Emergence of the Mediated Mind
Limited preview - 1998