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  1. #1
    Rinoceronte is offline Banned
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    Default Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    THE LANGUAGE APPROACH IN THE MILLENNIUM III:
    Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs



    1. "Present Perfect may represent an ongoing (present) action".
    Still undecided how to explain to your students that this tense "combines both past and present times"? "A past action connected to present with its result... result is still valid..."? An expression of confusion on your face for feeling that you are not sure of what you are telling your students? A relief has come. It's not "present" and never was, despite what its name says. This tense existed in Latin where it reflected an action completed in recent past. All the post-Latin European languages borrowed this tense having properly preserved both its essence and the word "past" in the tense's name (pretérito, passé, passato). The English language is the only one to have changed the name to "present" and hence to garble tense's essence. Reasons? None.


    2. "Perfect Continuous may mean a perfect action"
    Since English grammar decided to go its own way, different from international grammar, and to ignore the category of aspect, it also ignores the internationally accepted terms describing this key verb category: perfect and imperfect. Although the term ‘perfect' exists, it's not applied properly, while ‘imperfect' was substituted with ‘continuous' or ‘progressive'. In fact, it's what's known throughout the world as ‘imperfect'. So, if you rephrase the name of the tense to sound internationally, you will have ‘Perfect Imperfect'. Now, try to explain this tense to your students...


    3. "Perfect Continuous (Progressive) is a derivative from Continuous (Progressive)"
    Those two tenses indeed are quite kindred for both represent the Imperfect Aspect. But their relation is contrary to what has been thought. The pure Imperfect Aspect, which means a duration or continuity, is rendered by Perfect Continuous tenses, while Continuous tenses render only every moment of such duration or continuity. So, Continuous aspect is as a part of Perfect Continuous, as a dot is a part of a line.


    4. "Stative Verbs Rule must be followed"
    The disproof of that is not difficult, if you know (and care) what the aspects are. If you rephrase the rule, which says "The stative verbs can't be used in continuous tenses", in terms of aspects, you will come to this "The stative verbs can't have imperfect aspect", or "The stative verbs are those that have only perfect aspect". This is nonsense for anyone who has the category of aspect in his language. Because he knows that stative verbs in fact gravitate towards the imperfect aspect. It's their natural state. If there are stative verbs that indeed can have only one aspect (for example, "полагать" in Russian) that is imperfect aspect, not perfect. And that's only half of disproof. The rule, which, as we see, in fact is the rule about aspects, was introduced by a guy who was born in Hungary where his native languages were Hungarian and German, later he moved to the USA were became an expert in English language. But Hungarian, German and English grammars do not have the category of aspect, unlike the majority of European languages. So, he did not have a right to work with aspects which he didn't understand, let alone to create a rule that would garble the whole grammar. His name? Zeno Wendler.


    5. "Stative Verbs Rule has been being applied throughout the history"
    It was introduced in 1959.


    6. "The category of aspect is absent in English language"
    It's absent in English grammar, but not in the language, living there unnamed though. Have you ever had hard time trying to find a proper noun for adjectives like Simple, Indefinite, Continuous, Perfect and Perfect Continuous to be applied to? Did you ever say "Continuous time"? It was wrong. Did you say "Perfect tense"? It was wrong as well. The only proper noun for those adjectives (I'm talking about the whole column in this table, not about particular cells)...
    photofile.com.ua/users/chesegundo/2497698/90997157/full_image/
    ...is Aspect. That's as a fundamental category for verbs as time is, despite that Wikipedia says: «Aspect is a somewhat difficult concept to grasp for the speakers of most modern Germanic languages...».- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_aspect


    7. Tense definition.
    That is not even a misinterpretation nor equivocation, but rather an inability to properly define this grammar term. The already mentioned table...
    photofile.com.ua/users/chesegundo/2497698/90997157/full_image/
    ... shows that tenses are table's cells. Since any cell in any table is the correlation between table's rows and columns, the tense is the correlation between time and aspect.


    8. "Subjunctive mood is ...eeeeeh... it's quite difficult to explain".
    The problems in understanding the subjunctive mood are generated, strangely enough, by Spanish grammar. Strangely, because Spanish has a separate conjugation for Subjunctive mood and presumably should boast of the biggest understanding of this quite controversial grammar notion. Instead, Spanish only adds mess, and twofoldly: first, the subjunctive verb form participates in construction of the Spanish conditional mood, and hence, many people throughout the world, including Spaniards themselves, confuse subjunctive and conditional moods; and second, for the fact that Hispanos use the same conjunction "que" for both indicative and subjunctive moods, they (the saddest Spanish grammar's problem) can't tell themselves those two moods properly, spreading this confusion outside of their language too. In fact, subjunctive mood means solely the expression of a wish, order of prohibition for some action to be done by another person/object ("I wish that...", "I want him to...", etc.).


    9. "Mood is verb form"
    A mood is more than a verb form. To say that "would do" is Conditional mood is incorrect. It's conditional verb form, while the mood implies much more. Conditional Mood implies two clauses, a conjunction and various verb forms in clauses for different conditional mood types. Subjunctive Mood implies a verb meaning wish/order/prohibition, two clauses, a conjunction and a subjunctive verb form (or one clause, infinitive, and a direct object). Imperative Mood can coincide with imperative verb form, if the sentence consists of one word: "Go!". Moods are for sentences, not for words alone.


    10. "There are four types of conditional mood"
    In fact, there are two more mixed types: dependent as in Second Conditional + main as in Third Conditional; and dependent as in Third Conditional + main as in Second Conditional. It's a well-known fact, but the explication of this phenomenon starts to make sense if also done from the Aspect point of view. In fact, the necessity to use either the verb in dependent clause, or the verb in main clause in a perfect tense is dictated not so much by realizability of the condition, but rather by completeness of the action itself.
    (to be continued)

    Artem Ivantsov. All Rights Reserved. Quoting is permitted with the proper reference only.
    Last edited by Rinoceronte; 03-Oct-2010 at 20:33.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    Oh dear, Rinoceronte. Where did you find that list of 'Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs'? I don't know many people in this field who go around with such beliefs. And if there are such people, I don't think your 'disproofs' are actually very helpful. I address some of your points below, using the same numbering of points as you.

    1. How speakers of other languages use their perfect tenses is irrelevant to Modern English, which should be analysed in its own terms. Whilst I prefer to think of this as a retrospective aspect rather than a perfect tense, there is no doubt that this form has some connection with the present time. Even when the British use the form for a happening in the recent past (while Americans tend to use the past simple), there is some implied connection with the present. Thus he left draws attention to the fact of his leaving in the past, whereas he has left draws as much attention to the fact that he is no longer here.

    2. I agree that the word perfect is not particularly helpful for the name of this form in English – but it’s not particularly helpful in other languages either. Read any serious writers on grammar, and you’ll find on-going arguments about terminology. There are few ‘internationally accepted terms’.

    3. You seem to be playing with words here. I really don’t understand what you mean about English when you write: ‘So, Continuous aspect is as a part of Perfect Continuous, as a dot is a part of a line.’

    4. You state categorically: ‘Hungarian, German and English grammars do not have the category of aspect, unlike the majority of European languages.” Sorry, Rinoceronte, many of us working with English consider the Progressive (Continuous/Durative) and Perfect (Retrospective) forms as aspects. Some of us consider the possibility that it may be useful to treat the ‘going to future’ as a prospective aspect, and ‘used to’ as a past habitual aspect. Don’t forget that there are actually no such things as tenses or aspects. These words are simply labels that we use to make talking about certain forms of certain words possible.


    5. "Stative Verbs Rule has been being applied throughout the history" I don’t know anybody in the world of English who hold that misconception. In fact I can’t think of anybody who quotes a ‘Stative Verbs Rule’

    6. You are putting forward a view, not a fact. There may be, as R A Close notes, ‘Grammar as fact’ (eg the plural of child’ is children not childs) but there are no hard facts about grammatical terminology. The words tense and aspect mean what linguists agree they mean, and there appears to be no universal agreement as to what they mean precisely. And I think that many would disagree with you that time is a fundamental category for verbs in English. As David Crystal (1971) : “ If we stick to a traditional concept of tense, then the hypothesis ‘tense in language signals time’ is likely to be accepted without question. (…) But the hypothesis can be shown to be false.” (My emphasis).


    7. Once again, just a view.

    8. What have the problems, real or imagined, with the Spanish subjunctive to do with English grammar?


    9. You are, yet again, just presenting your views.

    10. There are many types of conditional sentence. I give below just ten examples of what some might call Zero Conditional sentences.



    • If you heat ice, it melts.
    • If you heat ice, it will melt.
    • If water has been boiled for twenty minutes, it is completely sterile.
    • If the metal snaps, it has been subjected to extreme stress.
    • If a dog is wagging its tail, it’s happy
    • If you can speak Swedish, you can understand Danish.
    • If Andrea cooked, I washed up.
    • If Carol is working in the garden, Peter often goes down to the pub.
    • If Andrea cooks, I will wash up.
    • If Andrea cooked, I would wash up.


    Note the variety of verb forms. Note also that [2] and [9] have the same form as so-called First Conditionals, and that [10] has the same form as a so-called Second Conditional. Only context and co-text will tell us the message the speaker intended to convey. One of the real problems with conditionals is caused by writers who try to shoe-horn all these sentences into a small number of categories, and then invent rules about the sequence of tenses.




  3. #3
    Rinoceronte is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    Dear Fivejedjon,

    This list was not "taken" from nowhere. It was compiled by me.

    Thus he left draws attention to the fact of his leaving in the past, whereas he has left draws as much attention to the fact that he is no longer here.
    "He left two years ago" draws AS MUCH attention to the fact that he is no longer here. The ONLY "connection" to the present moment when you use Present Perfect, is that the action COMPLETED (!!!) not far form the present moment, i.e., recently. But it's still past action, since it's completed.

    I agree that the word perfect is not particularly helpful for the name of this form in English
    In fact, we here call it "Completed" while opposing it to "Incomplete".

    I really don’t understand what you mean about English when you write: ‘So, Continuous aspect is as a part of Perfect Continuous, as a dot is a part of a line.’
    I mean exactly what's wriiten: "I had been reading for an hour" is an hour-long geometrical segment on a timeline (from 18:00 to 19:00), while "I was reading at..." is every dot of such hour-long segment (at 18:01, at 18:02, at 18:03 etc.).

    Don’t forget that there are actually no such things as tenses or aspects.
    !?!?!?! Tense is a verb's form. Verb's forms vary according to time and aspect, two main verb's categories.

    In fact I can’t think of anybody who quotes a ‘Stative Verbs Rule’
    All people worldwide are forbidden to say/write "I have been knowing him for years". That means that the crooked rule does exist and is insisted to be followed.
    Real English - Stative verbs

    As David Crystal (1971) : “ If we stick to a traditional concept of tense, then the hypothesis ‘tense in language signals time’ is likely to be accepted without question
    This is where David Crystal is very wrong, and this is why I never read "trustful" grammarians. Tense in language signals AS time AS aspect. It's a correlation between those two categories.

    What have the problems, real or imagined, with the Spanish subjunctive to do with English grammar?
    People peep into each other's grammars and borrow things without thinking. Like this: http://community.livejournal.com/real_english/4269.html

    There are many types of conditional sentence.
    You have substituted simple tenses with compound ones. It may be reasonable, but it may be not as well. The meaning of "zero conditional" remains the same. The optimal number of conditionals from my point of view is ten:
    Real English - Conditionals When Looked At Through Aspects

    Last edited by Rinoceronte; 15-Oct-2010 at 11:49.

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    Having read through this, I can see why they banned you on the other forum- it's utter twaddle. You might be advised to read a few 'trustful' grammarians before formulating your views- they have spent a lot of time thinking the issues over and whether you agree or disagree; being informed rarely does harm.
    Last edited by Tdol; 15-Oct-2010 at 12:31. Reason: typo

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    Rinoceronte is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    Having read through this, I can see why they banned you on the other forum- it's utter twaddle. You might be advised to read a few 'trustful' grammarians before formulating your views- they have spent a lot of time thinking the issues over and whether you agree or disagree; being informed rarely does harm.
    This message of yours does not contain anything but a threat to shut me up. You won't scare me away. I'm being polite, and have been thanked quite enough to make it visible that my points are of interest for people.

    The grammarians you refer me to, have spent a lot of time indeed (1617 years of English language existence actually) without taking the category of aspect into account! And now you insist me to listen to their opinions as to what aspects are for...

    How come that you know about my ban on another forum, by the way? Does it spread orally already? What are you doing on another forum? Moderating too? Do you have kind of an Order of English Language Forums Moderators? Who are you, may I ask you a question? I'm Artem Ivantsov, a Ukrainian philologist who speaks six languages and who has traveled a lot around the world implementing various language-related projects. Thank you.

  6. #6
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    I know about your ban because you told us. Try reading your own posts:
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/te...tml#post658555

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    Tullia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rinoceronte View Post
    Who are you, may I ask you a question? I'm Artem Ivantsov, a Ukrainian philologist who speaks six languages and who has traveled a lot around the world implementing various language-related projects. Thank you.

    Yet your English is so bad you read a threat in Tdol's words where it did not exist?

    As for Tdol, he's a dedicated and careful moderator who deserves some respect and courtesy. You, so far, have shown yourself to be deserving of neither, so I consider his responses to you yet another sign of his restraint and tolerance.

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    Default Re: Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rinoceronte View Post
    I'm being polite, and have been thanked quite enough to make it visible that my points are of interest for people.
    From Rinoceronte's Public Profile:
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    Default Re: Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    R
    I've been thanked in words, not in ticks:

    This one is from an Australian, like you:

    Thanks Rinoceronte. This seems to be a topic you feel passionately about. Could you illustrate your points with some examples?

    Although I am an English teacher, my knowledge of grammar terms is quite poor and my colleagues and students do not use English grammar terms at all. I would love to be able to discuss this with my colleagues and incorporate your ideas into my teaching.

    Thanks in advance!
    This one is from someone on another forum, you can tell better than me, if he is native or not:

    Actually, it was directed towards you when I said 'all due respect'. And I was referring mainly to you when I said "(they) made me want to enroll in a crash course in linguistics". I had never really given enough thought terms such as 'subjunctive', 'conditional', 'indicative' ' mood', 'aspect' and all those jargons before I landed on this thread. It made me realize how limited my knowledge of English grammar is. And it somehow made me feel that knowledge of those terms is vital if I am to engage in a discourse on grammar.So thanks to you!
    Also I've been said this:
    A few scholars (or serious amateur hobbyists) might be interested. But you might not find fertile soil there either. You'd probably be hard pressed to find a more disputatious and cantankerous group of folks. It's just the nature of academics. A thick skin would be a distinct advantage!
    Quite inspiring, isn't it?

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    Default Re: Popular Misinterpretations & Equivocations with Disproofs (part I)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rinoceronte View Post

    Also I've been said this:
    : A few scholars (or serious amateur hobbyists) might be interested. But you might not find fertile soil there either. You'd probably be hard pressed to find a more disputatious and cantankerous group of folks. It's just the nature of academics. A thick skin would be a distinct advantage! Q
    Quite inspiring, isn't it?
    Actually, no.
    Last edited by 5jj; 16-Oct-2010 at 14:32.

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