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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:   Historical Present outside of Indo-European
Author:   Keira Ballantyne
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Discourse Analysis
Language Documentation

Query:   Dear colleagues,

I wonder if anyone could point me to examples of historical present or
historical present-like phenomena outside of Indo-European? I'm looking for
descriptions of or examples in languages where a present tense is used
within narrative text to describe events which have a clear past

I'm only aware of Robin Hooper's work suggesting that the Tokelauan
inchoative may be an example of a similar phenomenon (Hooper, Robin. 1998.
Universals of narrative pragmatics: a Polynesian case study. Linguistics.
36: 119 – 160). Any other leads would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,

Keira Ballantyne

LL Issue: 16.2043
Date posted: 30-Jun-2005


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