Confused about past and present tense

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Confused about past and present tense

Post  Adais on Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:55 pm

I was wondering if every single time we intend to express that something happened in the past we have to use the sign (finish) before the verb? Would this be a rule? I have seen it happened really often, however I am not sure if this is the only way we express that something happened in the past when signing? I think the sign finish before a verb could be just a substitution of the (ed) we tend to place at the end of English verbs as in (ended, walked, played, danced). I see it happen in some occasions but not always, and perhaps is a little bit confusing to figure out whether they are referrig to past or present tense, when things happened or are happening.

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Re: Confused about past and present tense

Post  melissamarch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:30 am

On page 121, the book states, "Traditionally, time in ASL is expressed thru independent lexical items. ...NOW, TODAY, YESTERDAY, TOMORROW, MORNING... RECENTLY, LONG-TIME-AGO ..".. The lexical items show that something happened in the past (or is happening now or in the future).

The book then goes onto say that FINISH is often glossed as having the meaning of "in the past". (p.123).. but this is actually a misnomer. "It seems that they are mainly used for emphasis rather than as the baseline way of referring to the time of the event... (Instead) it is used as a completive marker".. used for emphasis and to show full completion, not to show a baseline of time. (p. 123-124). For everyday use, Deaf folks are not signing FINISH or WILL for every sentence to show a timeline.

This brings me to a place of awareness of what we are teaching our ASL I students academically and what the Deaf community may be using, may not always align.
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Re: Confused about past and present tense

Post  joseph barreca on Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Good Question, when something is added on a word to show something has been done, -ed on a verb, for example, danced, walked. You can actually sign something like... I walked five miles, therefore I'm really tired. You know its been done and then something else is added to know its done- finished, so you done really have to sign finished for this sentence.

Hope that helps where you don't have to sign finish every time when you can think of something else to sign to give more meaning in ASL.
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Re: Confused about past and present tense

Post  Rafael Treviño on Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:37 am

I like the comments from your peers, and Melissa's is right on the money.
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