Linguist,

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Language uses spatial notions with regard to time reference. This could be worth noticing when training/restoring language skills.

All languages spatialize. They use spatial expressions with reference to time. Orientation in space developmentally precedes that in time - children first learn where objects are, knowing when things happen comes later. Why not try to use prepositions for tense aspects in grammar?

You might say, 'OK, I can see that I say BEFORE here or there and I say BEFORE this or that hour. I can use the same word, BEFORE , to refer to time and space. And OK, I may believe that as a kid I first learned where objects were in space, only then I gathered what came after what. Yet, just four prepositions, ON, IN, TO, and AT - that's not enough to make the picture of American English. Ya ever see a grammar book?'

Another might shout, 'Not the language of Chaucer and Shakespeare!'

All grammar books say about the aspects and that there are four of them: Simple, Progressive, Perfect, and Perfect Progressive. These are the aspects that native English speakers use, not randomly assorted '-ing' or other endings. Unfortunately, most grammar books focus on the tenses, not the aspects.

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    Apr 18 2011: reuse is very common in biology. genes, enzymes, organs are all often reused. brain parts too. maybe that is behind that many cases of reuse we see in languages. another interesting point is language processing is somehow related to motor control. some scientists believe that the first language was a sign-language, and that's why it is attached to motion-related brain parts. later the focus shifted to sounds instead, but as always, biology reused the existing brain part, and didn't create a new one. this rampant reuse is somehow connected also to metaphor. understanding metaphors is not purely a learned cognitive function, it has its built-in support in the brain.

    if you are interested in the topic, i recommend lectures by steven pinker and vilayanur ramachandran. you can find some here on TED, and on youtube too.