Paul Baptist (kaji_sensei) wrote in linguaphiles,
Paul Baptist

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Doing some research on tenses

Edited to clarify some points

I'm doing some research with a friend regarding tenses, and need to collect a broad data set across languages and families. As a means of getting a standardized sample, we've come up with the following four sentences, and are putting them in all the tenses that apply in a given language:

• I go.
• John hits the ball. (context: John is playing baseball and just got a hit)
• You give Mary the book.
• We are. (e.g. "Who here is American?" "We are.")
• I walk and talk. (New addition, context would be someone casually/aimlessly walking down the street)

If a tense doesn't officially exist in a language, but there are common workarounds to produce it (e.g. Japanese uses a "plan to do" means of talking about future events), a note on that and an explanation of the workaround is appreciated. We're trying to keep this strictly to tenses, so showing all aspects and moods is not necessary. Default mood is the indicative.

If a language customarily leaves off part of the sentence (e.g. implied subjects, or dropping the copula), then please put the full form of the sentence down, with the omitted parts in [brackets].

I realize that this may be a tall order for some languages, and appreciate the community's help with this. If you don't feel like doing the translations, even a simple explanation of which tenses exist in a language and how they're constructed would be immensely helpful. If you would like an acknowledgement in the final report for your data contribution, send a note via LJ.

Thanks in advance!

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