Re: Tense and aspect in English

From: Jim Beale (
Date: Tue Apr 29 1997 - 22:01:00 EDT

On Apr 29, 9:20pm, Jonathan Robie wrote:

> The interesting thing is, I think that people like Don Wilkins, Randy Leedy,
> Carl Conrad, Mari Olsen, S.M.Baugh, Fanning, Smyth, and Robertson may have
> very different ways of describing various uses of tense, but they also seem
> to agree on what most uses actually mean. More and more, I like Jim's
> approach to tense and aspect.

Oh, oh, Jonathan,

No, no, no. You've got Jim pegged ALL wrong.

The key is to use the word 'Aktionsart' alot. It makes _all_ the
difference in the world. I'm sure that Jim would agree and no doubt
Mary would too. Imagine if Jim were to reply to Mary in this way:

   Jim : What are you doing tomorrow?
   Mary: Well, I *was* going to my brother's house...
   Jim : Wow! Beautiful *Aktionsart* Mary! What a fascinating
         linguistic agent you are! Let's go back to my place
         and explore the wonders of Aktionsart even more. We
         can make beautiful grammatical structures together!!!

Don't you think Mary would be all the more impressed with _this_
response? Now she knows that Jim is not just another pretty face;
oh no, he's an ASPECT GEEK! and everyone knows that aspect geeks
get all the chicks.


In Christ,
Jim Beale

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