To see how we could cognitively map in language, let us try a mild brainteaser. If we compare our answers with family, friends, or other people and the results are consistent, the mapping is natural for us, even if the idea has not been not well-known: our brainteaser is intuitive. More→
Reference used in writing up the grammar course.
Grammar books vary vastly in guidance on Modal verbs and the Conditional or Unreal Past. We can exercise our grammar relativity, to manage.
We can use Form Relativity with the Progressive and real verbs. We can use stories. “I’d be reading horoscopes”, says Ms. Seges. “That is …?” (Mr. Seges does not believe Ms. Seges would ever read horoscopes.) “This looks like a calligraphic copy of Vespucci’s letters. It was slipping out of our backyard hedge, no covers or front matter.” “Hadn’t it sure taken a lot to make such a book, I’d suspect that Babbitt next door. Bill once wrote me the book I was looking for was as likely to be obtained as a calligraphic of Vespucci’s originals. It was completely a legend, he checked with the Freeman’s.”
American English (same as any English) is a syntactic language. We need our word order, for language elements to work. Our brains have some natural logic, yet everyone has to learn syntax to have it. We can compare languages of the world for differences. Let us think how our syntax could develop.
We do not have to view Modal, Conditional, or Unreal Past patterns as separate. With Perfect tenses, our syntactic HAVE helps tell about real time. It has an open real-time frame. With the Unreal Past or Conditional, HAVE tells about hypothetical time. HAVE is not part the real map, then. It comes with an auxiliary compass for relative time.
We can view verb forms as generally relative, for hypotheses. PRESENT forms can tell about the FUTURE. PAST forms can tell about the PRESENT. ANTECEDENT PAST forms can tell about the PAST.
Our use of the word "relativity" is not about physics or families. It is linguistic. We can acquire the Modal relativity step-by-step, and spare our arrows. Let us remember they indicate the target time, not the verb form.
Modal Expression, especially the Interrogative or Negative, can give us some trouble, unless we approach the matter as science in a field: we analyze the molecules, see how they are doing, and make a model. We can recur to CHAPTER 5, as well as compare APPENDIX 4. 54. We CANNOT skip the exercises. … Continue reading 9.3. DETAIL ON MODAL STRUCTURES
We can actually live only in the real-time PRESENT. Our syntactic HAVE does not bring assertion about real time, when we attach it to a Modal and make a hypothesis. We do not need to view it as open-frame real time, then. We can view it as a syntactic anchor and a closed-frame hypothetical time.