Grammatical Aspects, or cognitive variables?

Without exception, time and place occur together, in earthly reality. There is no time without place, or place without time. Computer virtual dimensions might isolate the two, but human grammar has never evolved in a virtual reality.

 

Let us think about a few basic words we might use to talk about places. The words could be on, in, and to: we people live ON Earth, we give at least psychological borders to areas IN which we are, and we learn as well as remember ways TO places. We happen to be AT landmarks, too.

 

We people also map cognitively. Human cognitive maps do not have the strict geographical measurement, they yet do well in helping get to a place, in the shortest length of space as well as time, in our everyday routes to school, work, or another location.

 

All grammar books agree that English has 4 grammatical Aspects. We can have them for the Simple, the Progressive, the Perfect, and the Perfect Progressive, as there happen to be differences on particular labels.

 

The Simple: We can use it to speak about habits, as well as feelings and thoughts — all that does not change often. The Simple would tell what we generally see that existed, exists, or we think will exist ON a cognitive map.

 

The Progressive: We can use it to say that something was, is, or will be IN progress, IN its course. To visualize this Aspect, we could picture activity or faculties IN an area.

 

The Perfect: We can use it to say what had taken place, has taken place, or will have taken place TO a moment in time. The moment does not have to mark the end of the state, activity, or faculty work. We may view the course or occurrence of the activity as a way TO a place.

 

The Perfect Progressive can work as a merger of the Perfect and Progressive, with the marker AT.

 

We cannot depend on geographic whereabouts for grammar. We may think about an abstract cognitive extent that would work for us wherever we are.

IMAGE: 4 ASPECT MAPPING VALUES WITH GRAMMATICAL TENSE PATTERNS

IMAGE: 4 ASPECT MAPPING VALUES WITH GRAMMATICAL TENSE PATTERNS

 

Centuries of tradition may support the classic grammatical Aspects. The fact remains, classic guidance has us make an exception, for talk about the senses, as well as human thinking and feeling.

 

The exception is about the “stative verbs”. We can use the Progressive for all other contexts, we yet get taught to stay with the Simple Aspect for “stative verbs”, because “language has it that way”.
I am happy now,
I think I like it now;
(Present Simple).

 

We may prefer to think about cognitive extents, and have language our way. For example, if we select part an extent for our view, we mark we do not mean an entire extent:
He is only being mad {IN}. He is sane {ON}.

 

Importantly, our language may not differ from that shaped in classic guidance at all, dependent on the context. More, does classic guidance have to be right?

 

The scholarly traditions to tell about the grammatical Aspect are built on Latin. When those grammatical studies were emerging, Latin was an everyday language. You heard it the street. You bought bread and told jokes in it.

 

The word aspect may impress today as an educationally and grammatically oriented item. Then, it was a word as ordinary as a view.

 

The Latin aspectus meant a seeing, looking at, a sight, view, or look. Well, and views did not come around. The speaker expressed his or her view to a matter as he or she had formed the picture for it.

 

We do not need to rid of the term Aspect. We can keep it, and use it cognitively to form our grammatical views.

 

Feel welcome to comment as well as see more,
CHAPTER 4. TIME RAMBLES DIFFERENT WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE

*****

LINK: READ THIS IN A SLAVIC LANGUAGE, POLISH

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