Rikchik: Time and Tenses

Tenses, timing

The rikchik way of speaking about time is centered on one glyph, usually called "Sequence". The purpose of Sequence is to collect successive moments using the Agent relation. Each collected word defines a moment, more or less.
For instance, to say that a human went into a house and then a rikchik came out of the house, the sentence would be:

Human-Patient-R-0
Home-Destination-P-0
Move-Agent-V-2
Rikchik-Patient-R-0
Home-Source-P-0P
Move-Agent-V-2
Sequence-End-I-2

(as shown on the left.)

If the human went into the house at the same time the rikchik left, it would be:

Human-Patient-R-0
Home-Destination-P-0
Move-Patient-V-2
Rikchik-Patient-R-0
Home-Source-P-0P
Move-Patient-V-2
Gather-Agent-V-2
Sequence-End-I-1

(as shown on the right) so that the two movements would be collected as the same moment.

Tenses are usually indicated with the "Me/Here/Now" glyph. More examples later.

Sentences that end without a sequence are usually assumed to be in the recent past. The remote past is usually specified with an opening sentence of the "Once upon a time" variety. Rikchiks have a stock selection of such phrases, for different times and places in their history. These opening sentences may be collected with a Source relation to emphasize their opening-ness; likewise, a closing sentence may be collected with a Destination relation. Neither of these should be sentences that actually specify events that are "part of the story"; they are establishing or framing devices only.

The length of time between two events in a Sequence may be specified by having the Sequence, between collecting those two events, collect a length of time with the Quality relation.

The imperative is usually accomplished by putting something in the near future and stating it as fact. The English equivalent would be something like "Now. Next, you coming here." A more polite imperative results from putting a nothing option with the statement: "Now. Next, you coming here, or not." Better examples later.

Time spans

When lengths of time are referred to directly, the Span glyph is used. A quick breakdown of common terms follows. For each unit of time, the glyphs that Span collects are listed. (A Span tends to take the I (Idea) form.) The rikchik homeworld has no moons, so there is no "month" equivalent.
Last modified 29Jul1997 by Denis Moskowitz. Rikchik culture and language also by Denis. Word assembly program utilizes gd, a graphics library, and GD.pm, a perl interface to gd. gd is © 1994, 1995, Quest Protein Database Center, Cold Spring Harbor Labs. GD.pm is © 1995, Lincoln D. Stein. Both are used with permission.