Choosing Tense in English.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MARINA DEL REY INFORMATION SCIENCES INST
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This report explores the semantic strategies for choosing tense in English in a purposeful way, as a subprocess of the process of generating text. First, a systemic grammar of English tense based on work by M.A.K. Halliday is introduced. The basic assumptions are that the tense opposition is a trinary one and that repeated selections can be made from it. Next, a framework for stating the semantic conditions for appropriate tense choices the chooser framework is developed. The interpretation of the tense proposed in the report is then compared to some of the major alternative interpretations. The remainder of the report is devoted to the semantics of tense choice in English stated terms of the chooser framework. Originator-supplied keywords include artificial intelligence, choice expert, chooser, chooser framework, discourse production, functional linguistics, functional grammer, grammar, inquiry semantics, logical function, primary tense, secondary tense, serial tense, system network, systemic grammar, tense grammer, tense semantics, text generation, text production, and verbal group.