Monday, 5 August 2019

übermorgen or it’s jam every other day

A few of the world’s languages, including one Bantu, Mwoltlap of the Vanuatuans and the passé composé of classic French of the 1600s (J’ai vu quelque chose—I did see something but I talk like that anyway) have a specific tense called hodiernal—hodie or hodierno being Latin for today, with distinct ways of addressing events taking place in the past or future in respect to the day of record.
Events referenced that take place before or after the unit of the present day are categorised as pre- or post-hodiernal. Other Bantu languages have crastinal aspect for events that take place on the subsequent day (Latin crāstinō die is tomorrow) or post-crastinal for the day after tomorrow (Übermorgen). More rarely, only reported among speakers of the Plateau family of languages in Nigeria, there is also the hesternal (hesterno die, yesterday) for actions that transpired then.  These forms would I imagine make for some interesting and exacting conjugations in popular ballads: “Today is the greatest day that I’ve known,” “Yesterday came suddenly” or “Just thinking about Tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow.”