2.2.3. The comparison with the present tense, and the meanings of M
We compare the past tense and the present tense, and investigate the meanings of M. As mentioned above, the past tense treats the event as the past and it does not reflect in the present because of the separation from the present.
Why does it mean that separation?
The answer is that the speaker's focus is put at the past, that is, s/he has a certain past in mind and the focus is concentrated on it. Thus, the past time adverbials are often used with the past tense, they mean the speaker's mind and derive from mind.
And even if the past time adverbials are not seen in contexts, the speaker implicates them. That is, if they are not in the contexts and not felt the past, they give us some oddness. See the following figures, the present tense and the past tense.
a. Present tense
b. Past tense
M is put at the past in (17b) unlike (17a). M is means the speaker's mind, that is the speaker's focus point. And it also means the relationship with the event whether it separates from the present or not.
For example, "I live in Hakodate." means I am in Hakodate and my life is in it now. But "I lived in Hakodate." means usually I am not in Hakodate now, probably moved somewhere at a certain past.
As mentioned above, the past tense has that separation. But if the speaker remains the relationship with the present, the present perfect form is used instead. This form is explained in the next chapter.
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