Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

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Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

Message publicper Robert.Winter » mar. mar 16, 2010 8:56 pm

Hello,

I have an Interlingua grammar question.

In English there is a "Present perfect progressive" tense, also known as the "Present perfect continuous" tense. Example:

"I have been studying Interlingua."

It implies:

- action beginning in the past and continuing until the present
- an emphasis on the duration of the action, on its continuous nature

(Please note, I do not wish merely to say "I was studying Interlingua." That would not imply anything about duration, about action being continuous, or about when the study ended.)

How can I say this in Interlingua?

My best guess is:

"Io ha essite studiante Interlingua."

Is that correct? Or do I need to write it differently?

Thank you,
Robert
Io apprende interlingua. Si il vos place, corrige mi messages in "Adjuta con interlingua". Scribe mi nomine de usator in le subjecto.
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Re: Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

Message publicper Laurentio » sab. mai 08, 2010 2:50 am

In case Robert comes back and checks the board (or in case anybody else is interested):

Firstly, I'm sorry that no-one ever replied to this (especially myself!). Both this site and the mailing lists have been very quiet over the winter...

Secondly, to (try to) answer your question:

I would say that it is possible to use [what I though was called either the 'present participle' or 'gerund', i.e. the -ing/-ente form] in Interlingua to indicate that something is happening right now, similary to what you do in English. [What are you doing? I'm reading a book: Que face tu? Io es legente un libro-]

Even though the Interlingua Grammar doesn't expressly allow it (it may even 'prohibit' it, depending on how you interpret it), I know several Interlinguists who does this, myself included. (Even our "god", Sr. Cleij, has condoned it, which is always a good defense if somebody were to criticize you for using such a sentence structure.)

So I would have no problem with 'Io es studiante Interlingua'. I'm not sure that 'io ha essite studiante Interlingua' would necessarily indicate "action beginning in the past and continuing until the present" in Interlingua, though.

Also, some people might find the sentence overly complicated/difficult to understand, or think it was poor Interlingua, for the above mentioned reasons.

So on the whole, the safest bet might be to simply rewrite the phrase a bit, for instance by saying: Recentemente io ha studiate interlingua.
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Re: Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

Message publicper McDutchie » sab. mai 08, 2010 4:52 am

There is not any kind of progressive tense in Interlingua, an omission that it shares with major languages such as French and German. A guiding principle in the derivation of Interlingua grammar was that only those features present in all the source languages are admitted. The progressive tense is neither universal nor essential, as French and German do fine without it. It is also really hard to learn and use for native speakers of languages that don't have it. So I see no good argument for having it in the international language.

To replace the present perfect progressive tense, you can use a descriptive expression combined with the present perfect tense, for instance: "io me ha occupate del studio de interlingua", "io ha passate le tempore studiante interlingua", "hodie io ha studiate interlingua durante tres horas", etc.

(Note that, unlike in English, the present perfect tense in Interlingua can not be used to indicate a state continuing into the present. Use the simple present tense instead: I have lived here for five years = io habita hic durante cinque annos. If you say "io ha habitate hic durante cinque annos", it means you lived here for five years and don't anymore. Similarly, I have been here since yesterday = io es hic desde heri.)
Le ultime vice modificate per McDutchie sab. mai 08, 2010 5:53 am, modificate 1 vice in total.
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Re: Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

Message publicper Laurentio » sab. mai 08, 2010 5:46 am

McDutchie scribeva:A guiding principle in the derivation of Interlingua grammar was that only those features present in all the source languages are admitted.


I've always been puzzled by this statement, because it seems to me that there are several grammar features in Interlingua that aren't found in all the source languages. For instance: the fact that we (at least, this is how all 'veteran' iA speakers interpret the rules) have to add an -s to determiners when they are not followed by the noun. (Eg.: Esque il ha multe personas in le strata? Si, multes.)

To me, a completely unnecessary and confusing rule (for which I have yet to see a compelling basis in the IG), but more to the point, it doesn't exist in English (Are there many people in the street? Yes, many.)

Another example is the fact that we add 'mente' to turn adjectives into adverbs, whereas in German the forms are identical. (Der Junge ist schnell. Er läuft schnell.)

I'm not being polemic, just trying to find out what exactly is meant by the statement you wrote above.
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Re: Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

Message publicper Laurentio » sab. mai 08, 2010 6:03 am

McDutchie scribeva:
(Note that, unlike in English, the present perfect tense in Interlingua can not be used to indicate a state continuing into the present. Use the simple present tense instead: I have lived here for five years = io habita hic durante cinque annos. If you say "io ha habitate hic durante cinque annos", it means you lived here for five years and don't anymore. Similarly, I have been here since yesterday = io es hic desde heri.)


Hm... You don't think "io ha essite hic desde heri" is correct? Funny, the other thing has alway sounded very 'German' to me ...
Ask not what you can do for your conlang - ask what your conlang can do for you
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Re: Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

Message publicper McDutchie » sab. mai 08, 2010 7:05 am

Laurentio scribeva:To me, a completely unnecessary and confusing rule (for which I have yet to see a compelling basis in the IG), but more to the point, it doesn't exist in English (Are there many people in the street? Yes, many.)

Oh, but it does exist in English. "Many" is in fact plural, the singular of "many" is "much". As an exception to the general rule in English, this adjective must agree in number with the noun: both "many" and "people" are plural, "much people" and "many person" would both be wrong. But the vast majority of English adjectives do not agree in number with the noun, and in Interlingua that rule has been made absolute: they never do. Hence the difference between "multe personas" and "si, multes". In the latter case, "multes" is an adjective used as a noun, so it follows noun rules and gets the plural ending. You find the basis in §39 of the IG: "Adjectives used as pronouns or nouns behave grammatically like ordinary nouns and can be pluralized."[*1]

As far as I can tell, this rule also persists for other adjectives in English, but since most other adjectives cannot be pluralized directly, they have to make them plural by adding "ones". For instance: "Do you like these green apples? No, I prefer the red ones." (Te place iste pomos verde? No, io prefere le rubies.) "Are there trucks on the street? Yes, big ones." (Ha il camiones in le strata? Si, grandes.)

(An exception would be "unquantifiable" adjectives used as plural nouns, the rule doesn't exist in English for those but still persists in Interlingua. To feed the poor = alimentar le pauperes.)

Laurentio scribeva:Another example is the fact that we add 'mente' to turn adjectives into adverbs, whereas in German the forms are identical. (Der Junge ist schnell. Er läuft schnell.)

I'm not being polemic, just trying to find out what exactly is meant by the statement you wrote above.

I meant it was a guiding principle, not an absolute rule. The IG calls it IALA's "working principle" in the 9th paragraph of the introduction.[*2] There are a couple of exceptions, the above is one. Another one would be the definite and indefinite articles which don't exist in Russian. Perhaps there is a third one, I can't think of it right now. I freely admit those decisions look fairly arbitrary, but it works for me.

And hey, being polemic is one of your talents, be proud of it. ;-)

Laurentio scribeva:Hm... You don't think "io ha essite hic desde heri" is correct? Funny, the other thing has alway sounded very 'German' to me ...

Hmm, I'm not sure now. Perhaps both are correct. How do you say it in Danish? In Dutch we definitely don't use the perfect past tense there, it would be nonsensical. But I'm too tired to check the IG now so it'll have to wait.

I feel kind of strongly that "io ha habitate hic durante cinque annos" does not mean you still live here, though.

- Martijn

[*1] http://members.optus.net/~ado_hall/inte ... ctive.html
[*2] http://members.optus.net/~ado_hall/inte ... ction.html

P.S. Me place como le foro me advertiva del arrivata de tu secunde message durante que io scribeva le responsa, usante le button "vista preliminar" pro relectura. Isto me permitteva combinar mi responsas.
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Re: Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

Message publicper Laurentio » sab. mai 08, 2010 7:48 pm

McDutchie scribeva:Oh, but it does exist in English. "Many" is in fact plural, the singular of "many" is "much". As an exception to the general rule in English, this adjective must agree in number with the noun: both "many" and "people" are plural, "much people" and "many person" would both be wrong.


This is my point exactly! :)

Words like 'multe', 'ambe', 'tote', etc. are already plural, so I can't see a logical reason for adding the -s in Interlingua.

McDutchie scribeva:Hence the difference between "multe personas" and "si, multes". In the latter case, "multes" is an adjective used as a noun, so it follows noun rules and gets the plural ending. You find the basis in §39 of the IG: "Adjectives used as pronouns or nouns behave grammatically like ordinary nouns and can be pluralized."[*1]


I see what you mean, but my point was that this seems to be a feature that isn't found in English (or German, IIRC).

Other people (and I think you yourself, once) :) have shown me this paragraph before, but I've never been totally convinced that it is an adequately clear basis for introducing this rule, based on two things:

1) it says "adjectives" and 2) it says "can".

I'm not sure words like 'multe', 'tote', 'ambe' etc. are technically adjectives. If I've understood correctly such words are now considered a class unto its own, called 'determiners', at least in English grammar.

All these words are already plural, even without the -s!

Now, add that to the fact that the paragraph says that adjectives can be pluralised.

I think it would be a fair interpretation then, that you don't have to pluralise words like 'ambe', 'tote', etc.', since they are already plural, but are free to only pluralise the 'real' adjectives, like the ones in your examples ('green', 'big', etc.).

If we are to consider adding the -s to words that are already plural an absolute requirement, I would have liked there to be a clearer rule prescribing this, because I think this rule can be quite confusing. (Even after 6 years of actively using Interlingua, I still often have doubts as to whether to add the -s or not.)

McDutchie scribeva:And hey, being polemic is one of your talents, be proud of it. ;)


Hehe, thanks. :)

McDutchie scribeva:
Laurentio scribeva:Hm... You don't think "io ha essite hic desde heri" is correct? Funny, the other thing has alway sounded very 'German' to me ...

Hmm, I'm not sure now. Perhaps both are correct. How do you say it in Danish?


In Danish we use the perfect past tense (jeg har boet her i fem år, jeg har været her siden i går).


I feel kind of strongly that "io ha habitate hic durante cinque annos" does not mean you still live here, though.


How about: "io ha habitate hic desde cinque annos"?

P.S. Me place como le foro me advertiva del arrivata de tu secunde message durante que io scribeva le responsa, usante le button "vista preliminar" pro relectura. Isto me permitteva combinar mi responsas.


Ah si. Anque il es multo practic que on pote modificar le messages post que on los ha inviate! :)
Ask not what you can do for your conlang - ask what your conlang can do for you
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Re: Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

Message publicper Robert.Winter » jov. mai 13, 2010 10:23 am

Thank you very much, everyone, for your comments.

I am very grateful for your kind help.

Sincerely,
Robert
Le ultime vice modificate per Robert.Winter dom. jul 04, 2010 2:36 pm, modificate 1 vice in total.
Io apprende interlingua. Si il vos place, corrige mi messages in "Adjuta con interlingua". Scribe mi nomine de usator in le subjecto.
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Re: Present perfect progressive tense: any equivalent?

Message publicper McDutchie » ven. mai 14, 2010 2:19 am

I spent an hour writing a response to this three days ago, then my browser crashed and all was lost. So now I'm trying again, but it's probably not going to be as extensive as the original. :-/

Laurentio scribeva:
McDutchie scribeva:Oh, but it does exist in English. "Many" is in fact plural, the singular of "many" is "much". As an exception to the general rule in English, this adjective must agree in number with the noun: both "many" and "people" are plural, "much people" and "many person" would both be wrong.

This is my point exactly! :)

Words like 'multe', 'ambe', 'tote', etc. are already plural, so I can't see a logical reason for adding the -s in Interlingua.

No, I'm afraid you're actually missing the point. These words are not grammatically plural unless they precede a plural noun or are themselves made into independent plural nouns. They're also not necessarily semantically plural, as it is very possible to have "multe" or "tote" of a singular quantity, such as rice or intelligence. "Ha tu multe ris? Si, io ha multe. Ha tu multe patatas? Si, io ha multes." This case is harder to make for "ambe" (both), but Interlingua is supposed to have a regular grammar so I don't see why it shouldn't follow the same rule as the others.

In my understanding, an adjective is any word that modifies a noun. I'm not very familiar with the concept of a determiner; apparently it is a fairly recent thing. Perhaps the words you mentioned are also determiners, or would be considered as such in English, but I don't see why that would be incompatible with them being adjectives as well. Besides, I don't think Interlingua should need to concern itself with subtle grammatical distinctions in English.

In my mind, the rule is very simple. If one or more modifier words belong to a noun, preceding or following it, and they are plural together, then only the noun gets a plural suffix and its sattelite word(s) stay invariable. If you then take out the noun, the noun-modifier (the last one if there are several) takes on the role of the noun, and inherits the plural suffix if present (IG §39). This simple rule even applies to the definite article "le" (IG §21: "le opiniones de mi patre e les de mi matre"). Simple numerals from 2 (duo, tres, quatro, ...) are the only exception; they never get plural endings (IG §121).

This keeps it simple and consistent for me and I don't need to think about finer grammatical subtleties. That is the way I like Interlingua to be.

Laurentio scribeva:
McDutchie scribeva:
Laurentio scribeva:Hm... You don't think "io ha essite hic desde heri" is correct? Funny, the other thing has alway sounded very 'German' to me ...

Hmm, I'm not sure now. Perhaps both are correct. How do you say it in Danish?

In Danish we use the perfect past tense (jeg har boet her i fem år, jeg har været her siden i går).

Interesting. The European languages must be less uniform on this than I thought.

McDutchie scribeva:
Laurentio scribeva:I feel kind of strongly that "io ha habitate hic durante cinque annos" does not mean you still live here, though.

How about: "io ha habitate hic desde cinque annos"?

I suppose that is unambigious, it can really only mean one thing, so not a problem. But why not just keep it simple and use the simple present tense? Simple is good. ;-)
McDutchie
 
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