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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Query Details


Query Subject:   Present Perfects
Author:   YANAGI Tomohiro
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Syntax

Query:   Dear linguists,

I am YANAGI Tomohiro, graduate student at Nagoya University, Japan.

I work on perfect constructions from the historical and
cross-linguistic points of view. My interest now is the possibility
of the occurrence of definite-past-time adverbs, such as _last year_
and _yesterday_, in present perfects. In German and French, this type
of adverbs can be used, while in English they cannot.

I have a few questions as to the possibility of the occurrence of such
adverbs.

1. Whether such adverbs can also be used in present perfects with
BE-cognates (_sein_/_etre_).

2. How about Scandinavian languages, and other Germanic and Romance
languages?

3. Whether present perfect forms and simple past forms are freely
interchangeable in languages where the adverbs can be used in present
perfects.

If I get enough feedback, I will post a summary with the information
received.

Thanks for any help.


YANAGI Tomohiro
Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University
e-mail: a986703d@eds.ecip.nagoya-u.ac.jp//yanagi_t@excite.co.jp
LL Issue: 10.264
Date posted: 18-Feb-1999



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