It is a truth universally acknowledged, at least beyond the walls of Balliol, that Time, Tense, Aspect, Mood, and Modality across languages are fraught with difficulty and complexity – nay, mystery. No-one knows what is going on. We may call this the TAM problem. We have solved it for English, and our project is: to use English thus understood as a base for investigating TAM issues in other languages; and with an eye to the burgeoning TEFL market, to develop software according to our grammatical principles.
As a pilot project and training exercise for the research team, we are beginning with an empirical investigation of so-called Future Tenses across all the languages we can muster. Our hypothesis is that there are no future tenses in any language. In other words, the whole idea of future tenses is a mistake at at a most fundamental level.
Anyone interested in the project is welcome to attend our seminars, and/or follow the research online through this site. Outreach and training seminars will be on Tuesdays, 1.45 – 4.00, beginning in Week 3. We meet in Balliol’s Lecture Room 23.
This is one of several projects under the umbrella of the Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute.