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smás]; Sanskrit dádhāmi, dadhmási: Greek rionμi, Tideμev [<*Ti0aμév]; Sanskrit krnómi, krnmási: Greek ζώννυμι, ζώννυμεν [< *ζωννῦμι, ζωννυμέν]; cf. also, possibly, Sanskrit ásmi, smás, sthá: Albanian jam, jemi, jini [<*ji-ni-te];87 as contrasted with the thematic types, e.g. Sanskrit bhávāmi, bhávāmas: Greek piw, proμer).

Perhaps athematic verbs originally had no primary accent of their own, but at most only secondary accents, so that it may be significant that the only two Greek verbs which are still true enclitics (eim, n) are athematic (cf. also the enclitic use of sum in Italic, e.g. Latin ortumst 'ortum est', Oscan teremnatust 'terminata est'). Here also belongs the well-known Vedic principles that the indicative is not accented unless it stands at the beginning of an independent clause or anywhere in a dependent clause.

In other words, the athematic verb may have been originally an enclitic, and the non-enclitic verb, which had a primary accent of its own, may have had the thematic form. If this be true, in the case of such doublets as Sanskrit éti: ayati; dāti, dádāti : dádati; dāṣṭi, dāśnóti : dašati; Greek δείκνυμι : δεικνύω; βίβημι : βιβάω, βαίνω; φέρτε : φέρω (cf. Latin ferte), 89 the former (athematic) may have been originally enclitic, the latter (thematic) originally non-enclitic. This suggestion is advanced, however, merely as a working hypothesis, not as a reasoned theory, and much less as a demonstrated explanation.

87 Cf. G. Meyer, 'Das Verbum Substantivum im Albanesischen', in Philologische Abhandlungen Martin Hertz. . . dargebracht 81-93, Berlin, 1888.

88 For the accentuation or non-accentuation of verbs see Brugmann, Grundriss 1. 953-4, 957, 965-7, 972-3; B. Delbrück, Vergleichende Syntax der indogermanischen Sprachen 3.58-64, 76-85, Strasbourg, 1900; Hirt, Der indogermanische Akzent 169-206, 304-9, do. 1895.

89 Brugmann, Grammatik 315–6, 320, 331, 334, 339; Hirt, Griechische Sprache 499-500.




The concept of time in relation to action finds expression in the verbal forms of a great many, although not all, languages. 'In English we have made up our minds that all action must be conceived of in reference to three standard times','-the present, the past, and the future. Of these three, the devices for the expression of the future-their origin, development, and present use-receive from our grammarians the least satisfactory treatment.

The common school grammars of modern English usually give as the one means of indicating future time the combination of shall and will with the infinitive form of the verb and name it the future tense." Some give two forms of the future tense: one for simple futurity and another for determination.3 As a matter of fact, however, the use of the auxiliaries shall and will with the infinitive is but one of several important methods of expressing the future and certainly does not deserve the title 'the future tense'. Some other combinations having a claim to be included in an English future tense are:

(a) the verb to be + prepositional infinitive. (He is to go with the committee.)

(b) the verb to be-about + prepositional infinitive. (The man is about to dive from the bridge.)

(c) the verb to be + going + prepositional infinitive. (They are going to go by automobile.)

Then too, the present form of the verb frequently refers to future time both in subordinate clauses and in independent sentences when some other word than the verb, or the context in general, indicates the time idea. (If it rains, I cannot go.) (He returns from his trip tomorrow.) On the other hand, the use of shall and will to express determination (sometimes called 'the emphatic future', or 'the colored future', or 'the

1 E. Sapir, Language 104.

* See, for example, Kittredge and Arnold, The Mother Tongue (1901), 2. 240. 'See, for example, Scott and Buck, A Brief English Grammar, 125 (1907).

modal future') is no more entitled to be included in the name 'future tense' than many other combinations of verbs which, because of their meaning, look to the future for fulfillment:

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In English, then, we have a variety of devices that express actions conceived of in future time. Most of them, like desire, or expect, or intend, joined with the prepositional infinitive, carry full word meanings and refer to the future because of the nature of these meanings. Others, like may, or the stressed shall, with the simple infinitive, or have with the prepositional infinitive possess a clearly distinct modal force. A few of these expressions seem at times to register mere tense meanings. The usual statements of the grammarians concerning the origin, development, and present use of the devices to express the future make the following three points:

(1) Those words or inflectional forms were used for the future tense devices which naturally looked to the future for fulfillment. (Words of volition, purpose, obligation, necessity, and the modal inflections carrying the idea of possibility, as for example the present subjunctive.)

'Fowler and Fowler, The King's English 134: 'But as commands and wishes are concerned mainly with the future, it was natural that a future tense auxiliary should be developed out of these two verbs.'

G. O. Curme, Journal of Eng. and Gmc. Phil. 13. 517: 'Originally will indicated a desire of the subject, while shall indicated that an act was due in accordance with the will of some other than the subject of the verb. The meaning of both of these verbs suggested their use to denote the idea of futurity.'

Maetzner, An English Grammar 2. 80: 'It is self-evident that shall and will may be referred to activities whose accomplishment belongs only to the future, and that both, by their nature, go essentially to a subject-matter which is not yet realized. The characteristic distinction of both consists in this, that shall points originally to the dependence or obligation imposed upon the subject by the determination of a foreign will, which may be taken as a command, as a moral obligation, or even as a physical necessity, whereas will denotes the subjective resolve and inclination of the agent.'

Brugmann, Comparative Grammar of the Indo-Germanic Languages 3.460 and 450 (1895). [Since there is but little essential difference between the views expressed in this earlier edition and those in the 1916 edition I have not used the later work

because the statements made in the English version fitted my purpose better. The pertinent paragraphs of the 1916 edition are 2. 3. § 423.3; § 705.]

"The conjunctive has a simple future meaning in addition to that of wish (in which I include deliberative and dubitative). Often these forms drop their other meanings in the separate languages, and have that of Future only, or chiefly. Then they are called future in the grammars, as are for instance Lat. erō, vīderō.' 'In Germanic the Idg. sio-future was lost, nor did this branch as others did, use certain conjunctive forms with future meaning only (as Lat. ero). For future events were used either perfect Present forms . . . or the living conjunctive, i.e., the Idg. optative (as Got, jah sijáina po tva du leika samin kai čσovтaι oi dvo eis σáρxα μíav); or thirdly, periphrases with auxiliaries which naturally pointed to the future. But the use of these last with dependent infinitive (Got. haban, duginnan, skulan, OHG. scolon, muogan, wellen, wollen) did not lead to any fixed type in the old Germanic dialects, and each auxiliary bore its own proper meaning. Only phrases with sollen and wollen gained by degrees a simple future tense. Besides these periphrastic turns there was an idiom made up by werden (Got. wairþan, .OHG werdan) with the present participle which is found a few times, in Gothic as jūs saúrgandans wairþiþ, vμeîs dvæηðýðeσðe, you shall be grieved. This idiom in OHG little by little won its way till all others had disappeared, but in MHG. the participle was exchanged for the infinitive."

Otto Jespersen, Philosophy of Grammar 260, 261: 'It is easy to understand that expressions for times to come are less definite and less explicit in our languages than those for the past: we do not know so much about the future as about the past and are therefore obliged to talk about it in a more vague way. Many languages have no future tense proper or have even given up-forms which they had once and replaced them by circuitous substitutes. I shall here give a survey of the principal ways in which languages have come to possess expressions for future time.

'(1) The present tense is used in a future sense. This is particularly easy when the sentence contains a precise indication of time in the form of a subjunct and when the distance in time from the present moment is not very great: . . . . The extent to which the present tense is thus used is different in different languages; the tendency is strongest with verbs denoting "go": . . . .

'(2) Volition. Both E will and Dan. vil to a certain degree retain traces of the original meaning of real volition, and therefore E will go cannot be given as a pure "future tense", though it approaches that function, as seen especially when it is applied to natural phenomena as it will certainly rain before night. . . The future is expressed by volition also in Rumanian voiu canta "I will (shall) sing"; . . . . In Modern Greek the idea of volition seems to have been completely obliterated from the combinations with tha: tha, formerly thena,

is derived from the third person thelei + na "that" from hina and has now become a pure temporal particle. (Note-In It. sta per partire "he is going to start" the notion of future seems to be due to per denoting an intention "in order to".) '(3) Thought, intention, ON mun. This cannot easily be kept apart from volition.

'(4) Obligation. This is the original meaning of OE sceal, now shall and Dutch zal. . . . . The meaning of obligation also clung at first to the Romanic form scribere-habeo "I have to write", which has now become a pure future tense, Under this head we may also place E is to as in "he is to start tomorrow".

(2) The full word meanings of these words or the distinctly modal ideas of certain verb-forms gradually faded leaving the idea of future time alone to be registered.5

(3) With all the fading the primitive meanings have not entirely gone. In many cases they still 'glimmer through' coloring the ideas. denoted by the auxiliaries or the inflectional forms and thus cause the complex character of the suggestions or connotations conveyed in most expressions of the future."

'(5) Motion. Verbs meaning "go" and "come" are frequently used to indicate futurity, as in Fr. je vais écrire, used of the near future, E I am going to write. .

'(6) Possibility. E may frequently denotes a somewhat vague futurity: this may end in disaster. Here we may mention those cases in which an original present subjunctive has become a future tense, as Lat. scribam.

'(7) There are other ways in which expressions for futurity may develop The Gr. future in -so (leipso, etc.) is said to have been originally a desiderative. A notional imperative necessarily has relation to the future time.'

See also

Jacob Grimm, Deutsche Grammatik (neuer vermehrter Abdruck besorgt durch Gustav Roethe und Edward Schroeder) 4. 206-19.

'I add but two examples to those given under the preceding note which touch this point also.

J. F. Royster and J. M. Steadman "The "Going-To" Future', The Manly Anniversary Studies in Language and Literature 402. "The track of the development of the going-to future seems easy to follow. It is reasonable to assume that it grew from the use of the progressive forms of go with the actual meaning of motion plus an infinitive of purpose or determination. The idea of actual motion to carry out the purpose weakened, and the combination came more and more to express merely purpose, intent, or determination. From a notional word, go falls into the state of an "empty" word.'

John Earle, The Philology of the English Tongue, Chapter V, §236. "The word shall offers a good example of the movement from presentiveness to symbolism. When it flourished as a presentive word, it signified to owe. . . . From this state it passed by slow and unperceived movements to that sense which is now most familiar to us, in which it is a verbal auxiliary, charging the verb with a sense fluctuating between the future tense and the imperative mood. There are intermediate uses of shall which belong neither to the presentive state when it signified "owe", nor to the symbolic state in which it is a mere imponderable auxiliary.' §238. 'We see in the word will the graduated movement from the presentive to the symbolic state well displayed.'

• Maetzner, An English Grammar, 2. 82, 83, 81: 'The notion shall pervades, even in the modern tongue, a series of gradations, which are weakened down from the expression of a compulsion, subjectively or objectively determined, to the idea of expectation and of imminence.'

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