Re: Pragmatic/Semantic

Date: Wed Mar 18 1998 - 01:17:58 EST

Jonathan Robie wrote:
> At 12:12 PM 3/17/98 +0000, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
> >But I cannot see how there can be an "uncancelable" meaning to a
> >single word or a grammatical form.
> Example: in English, the simple past tense has past reference. This past
> reference is not cancelable, which is why you can't say this:
> *tomorrow I went to the store
> And if you say this:
> today I went to the store
> It is clear that you have already gone to the store, even though the rest
> of the sentence could just as easily be wrapped around another verb form to
> indicate future reference:
> today I am going to the store
> I don't think you can find a context that will cancel the past reference of
> "went" to make it refer to present or future time. I've been wrong before!
> Similarly, I believe the word "yesterday" has a non-cancellable past
> reference.
Hi Jonathan ~

Interesting stuff ~ I get to wondering... And this is probably way
off topic...

What happens then with:

           today I go to the store often

This might be a response by someone at noon who has been to the store
several times in the AM and expects to be going quite a few more times
in the PM. It thereby includes past and future, in a 'present' [one
day] time frame, and a kind of simple idiomatically abstract present
tense. Is this just simple aorist?

George Blaisdell

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