Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Jim Martin Inventing A New Tense

Here's one though that Halliday's [tense] system doesn't cope with:
if I had have done it

Blogger Comment:

Ignoring the if makes it clear that this is simply an instance of someone misinterpreting
I'd have done it
I had have done it 
instead of
I would have done it
The tense system provides the means of interpreting such instances — this one would be: "past-in-present-in-past" — and thus, the means of understanding why they are anomalous, and thus, why they are unlikely to scale the cline of instantiation and find a place in the general system of potential.

Googling 'had have' will demonstrate the infrequency of such instances.

For the discourse semantics of verbal groups (Martin 1992), see here, here and here.