A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language by Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, Jan

By Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, Jan Svartvik

An fundamental shop of knowledge at the English language, written by way of the various best-known grammarians on the planet.

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1 A l though these situations are not strict l y momentaneous, since it takes a certain period of time to utter even the shortest sentence , they can be conceptualised as momentaneous , e specia ll y in so far as the time occupied by the report is exactly the same as the time occ u pied by the act , i . e . at each point in the utterance of the sentence there is coincidence between the present moment with regard to the utterance and the present moment with regard to the act in q uestion. Another set of ex am p le s where there is literal coincidence between the time location of a situation and the present moment is with simultaneous reports of an ongo i n g series of events .

A good illustration of the need for a prototype definition of concepts is the definition of colour terms : there is no clear-cut boundary separating, for instance , blue from purple , but there are colours that are clearly good values for each of these concepts , along with many other colours that are not readily assignable to one or the other . I n most of the discussion in this book, the difference between definitions 22 Meaning and implicature in terms of necessary-and-sufficient conditions and in terms of prototypes will not play a significant role .

We must therefore ask whether the existence of such examples requires us to modify the definition of the present tense . The claim of this book will be that it is in fact not necessary to modify the definition . As far as the present tense is concerned , in its basic meaning it invariably locates a situation at the present moment, and says nothing beyond that . I n particular , it does not say that the same situation does not continue beyond the present moment , nor that it did not hold in the past .

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