LINGUIST List 8.147

Fri Jan 31 1997

Disc: English Future

Editor for this issue: Anthony Rodrigues Aristar <>


  1. Carl.Mills, The English Future

Message 1: The English Future

Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 12:52:19 -0500 (EST)
From: Carl.Mills <Carl.MillsUC.Edu>
Subject: The English Future

In his interesting posts concerning Ebonics, Ron Anderson writes

>Those who read in First Grade give future tense markers, those who
>don't read don't give future tense markers, typically.

Is it just me--am I being a middle-aged nitpicker--or does anyone elso 
differ with the notion that English has "future tense markers?" Maybe 
it's because I have worked with a language or two that have real 
(surface, morphological) future tense markers, but I tend to find the 
conflation of time, which is semantic, with tense, which (I believe) is 
syntactic, a bit off-putting. Or does the fact that some languages, 
English among them, tend to indicate futurity periphrastically--through 
the use of certain modal auxiliaries, the use of time adverbials, 
etc.--matter when we are talking about such matters?

Carl Mills
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