[Lingtyp] Workshop at the 52th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, 21st – 24th August 2019, Leipzig

eugen.hill at uni-koeln.de eugen.hill at uni-koeln.de
Thu Sep 27 06:02:46 EDT 2018

Dear colleagues,

below is a Call for Papers for the Workshop 'Towards a diachronic  
typology of future tenses' designed for the  52th Annual Meeting of  
the Societas Linguistica Europaea, 21st – 24th August 2019, in  
Leipzig, Germany.

If you are interested in participating with a talk, please send us  
possibly soon but not later than November 15th a provisional title and  
an abstract (up to 300 words) at the following address:  
eugen.hill at uni-koeln.de.


The workshop convenors



Convenors: Elżbieta Adamczyk1, Martin Becker2, Eugen Hill2, and Björn Wiemer3
(1 Bergische Universität Wuppertal, 2 Universität zu Köln, 3 Johannes  
Gutenberg Universität Mainz)

Key words: future tense, modality, aspect, grammaticalisation, hypoanalysis

Workshop description: Unlike present and past tenses, future tenses  
exhibit a typologically robust tendency towards encoding modality.  
Accordingly, in the typological literature the future has been  
described both in temporal and modal terms (e.g. Comrie 1985, Dahl  
1985, 2000b, Palmer 2001, among others). This might be ultimately  
rooted in the fact that the notion of future time is inherently linked  
to uncertainty given the fact that the current reality may develop in  
several ways. In a similar vein, future time reference is known to  
frequently interact with aspect and with aspectual properties of verbs  
and constructions (cf. Dickey 2000 for different Slavic languages).  
Accordingly, for instance Copley (2009) describes the encoding of  
future in terms of a hierarchical interplay between two operators, a  
modal and an aspectual one.
However, these features inherent to future time reference from a most  
general point of view do not by themselves explain the considerable  
variation we observe regarding modality and aspectuality in future  
grams (henceforth “futures”) of different languages. We assume that  
this variation can be better understood from a data-oriented  
semasiological perspective, which implies taking into account the  
diachronic dimension of futures. This amounts to finding answers to  
the following questions:

•	What diachronic factors may be responsible for the observed  
variation in modal and aspectual values of futures? How to disentangle  
or isolate such factors in a particular case?
•	What are the possible correlations between these factors and the  
different kinds of modal and aspectual meanings in futures?
•	Which patterns of interaction between the different factors are  
actually attested in natural languages? How to search for and/or  
establish typologically recurrent patterns of interaction?
•	What are the possible trajectories of modality and aspectuality in  
the development of futures? How to search for and/or establish  
typologically recurrent trajectories?

At present, three different factors potentially relevant to modality  
and aspectuality in futures may count as securely established. The  
first factor is the different sources of future grams. Numerous  
languages possess futures known to have only recently evolved out of  
forms or constructions with non-future semantics (cf. Ultan 1978,  
Bybee & Pagliuca 1987, Bybee & Dahl 1989, Bybee, Pagliuca & Perkins  
1991, Dahl 2000a, Heine & Kuteva 2002, Wiemer & Hansen 2012). The most  
prominent sources, recurrently documented as generating futures in  
languages of different genetic and areal affiliations, are (a)  
tense-aspect forms (cf. the perfective future in North Slavic), (b)  
deontic (incl. volitional) modal expressions (cf. the shall- and  
will-futures in English, Balkan languages), (c) constructions with  
verbs of movement (cf. the komma-future in Swedish and the  
aller-future in French), (d) constructions with inchoative copula  
verbs (cf. the werden-Future in German or the imperfective future in  
North Slavic). Less robustly attested are futures succeeding  
constructions with verbs such as say (in central eastern Bantu, cf.  
Botne 1998) or take (in Ukrainian, cf. Wiemer 2011: 745), futures  
evolved out of temporal adverbs (in Lingala, cf. Bybee, Pagliuca &  
Perkins 1991: 18–19) or, finally, futures reflecting an agent noun  
with copula verb (in Sanskrit, cf. Tichy 1992, Lowe 2017).
Differences in the semantics of the source constructions may be  
relevant in two similar but distinct ways, both of which are commonly  
subsumed under the notion of “source determination” (cf. Bybee,  
Perkins & Pagliuca 1994: 9, Hilpert 2008: 22–27, Reinöhl & Himmelmann  
2017: 391–399). First, in futures evolved out of a modal source  
remnants of modal use may always be expected. Accordingly, futures  
with similar modal sources are likely to exhibit similar inherited  
modal readings (such as volition in want-futures) while futures  
resulting from a different source construction are less so. Second,  
futures with a similar source may be expected to develop similarly.  
For instance, futures evolved out of modals encoding obligation  
display a tendency towards developing epistemic semantic extensions  
whereas encoding epistemic modality is not typically associated with  
come- or go-futures (cf. Hilpert 2008: 184).
The second factor may be the different mechanisms of future tense  
development. Here we may distinguish two mechanisms. The first  
mechanism is the grammaticalisation of an inherited content word,  
which might be a verb (turned into an auxiliary or semantically weak  
component of a serial verb construction) or an adverb with temporal  
semantics (cf. Bybee & Pagliuca & Perkins 1991, Bybee, Perkins &  
Pagliuca 1994, Heine & Kuteva 2002). The second possible mechanism of  
future evolvement is the more direct functional shift, i.e.  
“hypoanalysis” from a non-future to a future (cf. Bybee, Perkins &  
Pagliuca 1994: 232–236, Haspelmath 1998, Reinöhl & Himmelmann 2016:  
It is known that futures which emerged by hypoanalysis often allow for  
gnomic and habitual readings, although in purely semantic terms these  
two meanings are difficult to link to future time reference (cf.  
Haspelmath 1998: 31–33). A functional shift from a present tense or a  
subjunctive mood to a future is usually triggered by the development  
of a new present tense or a new subjunctive mood, which restricts the  
domain of the inherited formations to formerly marginal uses such as  
prediction, generalised truths, and habitual actions. By contrast,  
gnomic or habitual readings are not attested for many subtypes of  
grammaticalisation futures, such as come-, go- or take-futures,  
although their sources are equally capable of expressing generalised  
truths or repeated actions.
Finally, the third factor potentially responsible for modal and  
aspectual readings in futures is the different behaviour of future  
tenses in the relevant language systems. It is known that the same  
language system may accommodate several functionally distinct futures,  
which may have emerged at different times and due to different  
mechanisms. In such a situation, it is natural to expect complex  
patterns of interaction between different future tenses which, in  
theory, might be responsible for different modal and aspectual  
flavours in futures (cf. Hedin 2000, Markopoulos 2009, Markopoulos et  
al. 2017 on Greek).

The workshop invites papers addressing the research questions stated  
above. Especially welcome would be contributions aimed at

•	identifying new factors potentially relevant to emerging and  
subsequent development of modality and aspectuality in futures,
•	describing patterns of interaction between these factors,
•	identifying recurrent patterns of interaction and establishing  
correlations with different kinds of modality and aspectuality.

Contributions contrasting findings from languages spoken in Europe  
with those from less-investigated and typologically divergent language  
areas will be appreciated.


Botne, Robert. 1998. The evolution of future tenses from serial ‘say’  
constructions in Central Eastern Bantu. Diachronica 15. 207–230.
Bybee, Joan L. & Dahl, Östen. 1989. The creation of tense and aspect  
systems in the languages of the world. Studies in Language 13. 51–103.
Bybee, Joan L., William Pagliuca & Revere D. Perkins. 1991. Back to  
the future. In Traugott, Elizabeth C. & Heine, Bernd (eds.),  
Approaches to Grammaticalization, vol. II (Focus on Types of  
Grammatical Markers), 17–58. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Bybee, Joan L., Revere D. Perkins D. & William Pagliuca. 1994. The  
Evolution of Grammar. Tense, aspect, and modality in the languages of  
the world. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Comrie, Bernard. 1985. Tense. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Copley, Bridget. 2009. The semantics of the Future. New York: Routledge.
Dahl, Östen. 1985. Tense and Aspect Systems. Oxford: Blackwell.
Dahl, Östen. 2000a. The grammar of future time reference in European  
languages. In Dahl, Östen (ed.), Tense and Aspect in the Languages of  
Europe, 309–328. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Dahl, Östen. 2000b. Verbs of becoming as future copulas. In Dahl,  
Östen (ed.), Tense and Aspect in the Languages of Europe, 351–361.  
Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Dickey, Stephen M. 2000. Parameters of Slavic aspect: A cognitive  
approach. Stanford (CA): Center for the Study of Language and  
Haspelmath, Martin. 1998. The semantic development of old presents:  
New futures and subjunctives without grammaticalization. Diachronica  
15. 29–62.
Hedin, Eva. 2000. Future marking in conditional and temporal clauses  
in Greek. In Dahl, Östen (ed.), Tense and Aspect in the Languages of  
Europe, 329–349. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Heine, Bernd & Kuteva, Tania. 2002. World Lexicon of  
Grammaticalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hilpert, Martin. 2008. Germanic Future Constructions. A usage-based  
approach to language change. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Lowe, John J. 2017. The Sanskrit (pseudo)periphrastic future.  
Transactions of the Philological Society 115. 263–294.
Markopoulos, Theodore. 2009. The Future in Greek. From ancient to  
medieval. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Markopoulos, Theodore, Allan, Rutger & Lambert, Frédéric. 2017. The  
Greek Future and its History. Le futur grec et son histoire.  
Bibliothèque des Cahiers de Linguistique de Louvain (BCLL), 139.  
Leuven: Peeters.
Palmer, Frank. 2001. Mood and Modality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Reinöhl, Uta & Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. 2017. Renewal: A figure of  
speech or a process sui generis? Language 93. 381–413.
Tichy, Eva. 1992. Wozu braucht das Altindische ein periphrastisches  
Futur? Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 142.  
Ultan, Russell. 1978. The nature of future tenses. In Greenberg,  
Joseph H. & Ferguson, Charles A. & Moravcsik, Edith (eds.), Universals  
of Human Language, vol. 3 Word Structure, 83–123. Stanford: Stanford  
University Press.
Wiemer, Björn. 2011. Grammaticalization in Slavic languages. In  
Narrog, Heiko & Heine, Bernd (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of  
Grammaticalization, 740–753. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wiemer, Björn & Hansen, Björn. 2012. Assessing the range of  
contact-induced grammaticalization in Slavonic. In Wiemer, Björn,  
Wälchli, Bernhard & Hansen, Björn (eds.), Grammatical Replication and  
Borrowability in Language Contact, 67155. Berlin, New York: Mouton de  

Prof. Dr. Eugen Hill

Historisch-Vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
Institut für Linguistik
Universität zu Köln
D-50923 Köln

Tel: +(49) 221 470 - 2282
Fax: +(49) 221 470 - 5947

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