tenses etc.

   Date: 21 Jun 94 10:43:35 BST
   From: D Mealand <ewnt05@castle.ed.ac.uk>

   Why should we think that what is one tense in one language should be the same
   in another,

We have every reason not to, based on the experience of looking at the
different tense/aspect systems just in the Indo-European languages.
(The Eurotra Machine Translation project of the EC/EU actually
produced some very nice material comparing the tense/aspect systems of
the EC languages dealt with by the project.)

	       or that a verb which is passive in one language should have an
   equivalent which is passive in another?

Again, based on experience, we should not, particularly given that
passive is often a purely formal marking (cf. deponent verbs like
sequor and hepomai, which are intransitive verbs of motion with
inherent passive morpholog).  Then there are things like impersonal
passives (such as ``es wurde hier getanzt''  (it is danced here),
which exist in, say, German and ancient Greek, but not English).  And
pseudo-passives, such as ``This bed was not slept in'', where the
object of a preposition is passivized (a fairly rare phenomenon).  Und
so weiter.

Bob Ingria