CHAPTER 8. ALCHEMY OF TIME FOR BEGINNERS

Most grammar resources agree that we have four Aspects in English, the Simple, the Progressive (or Continuous), the Perfect, and the Perfect Progressive (or Perfect Continuous).

 

By the label, we can say the Perfect Progressive should have features of the Perfect and the Progressive.

 

We extracted general patterns for the Simple, Progressive, and Perfect in SUB-CHAPTER 3.1.

 

PICTURE: ASPECT PATTERNS, THE SIMPLE, PROGRESSIVE, AND PERFECT

 

We can compare Perfect Progressive examples, as online or in books, and note a general pattern for it, too.
FUTURE:
I will have been reading.

 

PRESENT:
I have been reading.

 

PAST:
I had been reading.

 

PICTURE: THE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE ASPECT PATTERN

 

Let us think how to build this pattern. We can reckon the verb to be from the Progressive takes the place for the head verb in the Perfect pattern.

 

PICTURE: THE MERGER OF THE PROGRESSIVE AND THE PERFECT

 

The verb to have in the Perfect attracts the third form. The Progressive auxiliary be takes on the third form, within the Perfect pattern.

 

PICTURE: THE VERB TO BE TAKES ON THE 3RD FORM

 

We can have the Perfect Progressive for a merger of the Perfect and the Progressive. Our alchemy makes room for the head verb in the merged, Progressive pattern.

 

PICTURE: ROOM FOR THE HEAD VERB IN THE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE

 

We have correlated the Simple, Progressive, and Perfect Aspects with cognitive mapping values, {ON}, {IN}, and {TO}.
Please compare CHAPTER 4.

PICTURE: 3 ASPECT MAPPING VALUES WITH PATTERNS

 

We can use the Perfect to say what has progressed TO a time.

 

PICTURE: COGNITIVE VARIABLES, VALUE TO

 

We can use the Progressive to tell what is progressing IN a time.

 

PICTURE: COGNITIVE VARIABLES, VALUE IN

 

The two combined, the Perfect Progressive can help tell what has been progressing IN a stretch of time we refer TO another time.

 

PICTURE: THE PERFECT PROGRESSIVE MERGER

 

What language marker (preposition) could we choose for our merged variable? We could think about “into”, to join the “in” and “to”.

 

However, “into” may mean the same as “in” or “to” alone, dependent on the context. The westerly wind frolicked into eddies, in exercise 44 (SUB-CHAPTER 7.1).

 

“Into” may make an impression more formal or emphatic than “in” or “to” on their own.

 

Let us think about the preposition AT.

Something has been progressing AT this time.

PICTURE: PERFECT PROGRESSIVE MAPPING VALUES COMBINED

 

If our moment in time belongs with the FUTURE, we can say,
AT a time, something will have been progressing.

 

If our moment belongs with the PAST, we can say,
AT a time, something had been progressing.

 

Some grammar books will associate our feature {TO} with the Aspect we also can name the Perfect Simple. Some may have the name Perfect Continuous, for our variable {AT}.

 

Psycholinguistics says that naming processes do not change the ways language forms can work for brains. Book authors are people, and people happen to differ in approaches. Language forms can work regardless of grammar labels.

 

Our visualization is not to fix a picture for language. We do not have to stay with the same visuals for all time. We can present our mapping on one extent, as well as a few extents.

 

PICTURE: 4 ASPECT MAPPING VALUES WITH PATTERNS

 

SYMBOLICS: MANY MAPS WITH VARIABLES

 

We can merge our Progressive and Perfect arrow cues (please refer to SUB-CHAPTER 5.1).

 

Perfect tenses have an open time frame: they connote another, simultaneous reference in time.

 

Let us think about the Perfect Simple. The PRESENT Perfect Simple can embrace some time with reference TO the PRESENT.

 

17. Madame Règle has lived in Paris for fifteen years.

 

PICTURE: REAL-TIME OPEN FRAME

The open frame here looks TO the PRESENT, regarding a time fifteen years ago.

 

TEXT EXTENTS: LIVES IN PARIS -- MOVED TO PARIS

 

The PAST Perfect Simple can refer one time in the PAST TO another time in the PAST.

 

17a. Before moving to Paris, Madame Règle had lived and worked in Lyon, the silk capital of France, for five years.

 

PICTURE: REAL-TIME OPEN FRAME

The open time frame looks TO the PAST, regarding a time five years before.

 

TEXT EXTENTS: MOVED TO PARIS -- LIVED IN LYON

 

The FUTURE Perfect Simple may look to a time span from the PRESENT TO the FUTURE. Our basic or nodal time reference is the PRESENT, but we can think about the PAST as well.

 

17b. Tomorrow, Madame Règle will have lived and worked in France for twenty years.
(Altogether, in France, she has lived in Lyons and Paris.)

 

PICTURE: REAL-TIME OPEN FRAME

TEXT EXTENTS: WILL BE 20 YEARS -- LIVES IN PARIS

 

Madame Règle is an avid reader. She never really reads one book only. She usually has a small book with her, tied to her bag with a colorful scarf like with a string. She says that actually being able to look at a book makes it more present to her mind. At the same time, there is always another, bigger book she reads at home.

 

PICTURE: CHANTELLE'S THINKTIONARY

 

The practiced school habit of stringing books together might have had its advantages. Jill shares the behavior sometimes.

 

The Perfect Progressive makes a dual time reference and has an open time frame, the same as Perfect Simple. The Perfect Progressive can highlight a process, its time span or dynamism.

 

Let us think about the verb to read. We write the verb to read identically in the first, second, and third form. We say it differently.

 

1st form     2nd form     3rd form

 

read     read     read

 

[rI:d]     [re:d]     [re:d]

 

The verb to have takes the third form.

 

17c. Madame Règle has read [re:d] a book about a French thinker, René Descartes.
(She has finished.) {TO}

 

When we merge the Perfect and the Progressive, our pattern has room for the head verb in the Progressive.

 

PICTURE: HAS BEEN READING, FORM MERGER

 

17d. She has been reading [rI:dI Ƞ] a series of philosophical commentary books.
(Her reading is still in progress, she has not finished yet.) {AT}

 

We do NOT use the third form twice, and we do not add the ING to it. The following example shows the potential error.

17e. She has been * [re:dI Ƞ].

 

Let us return to our variable {ON}. Could we have it for our basic cognitive reference? Feel welcome to further journey.
8.1. EARTHLING BASIC VARIABLE
BUTTON: 8.1 EARTHLING BASIC VARIABLE

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LINK: READ THIS IN A SLAVIC LANGUAGE, POLISH

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