On 7 Aug 2011 at 10:11, Dennis King wrote:
> Go raibh míle maith agat as an achoimre seo! We've wrestled with this
> before on this list, wondering how best to translate these tense
> switches and speculating on their function. Tá a fhios againn anois,
> a bhuí le Daan. Now we can pay special attention to this narrative
> strategy in the future.
This is apparently an aspectual phenomenon, i.e. it has to do with
perfective and imperfective verbal action. But even in Daan van
Loon's corpus - who analysed TBC1 and had a database of several
thousand verbs - there were a great number of instances where you
simply couldn't tell from the context whether the action of verb 1
would have been over at the onset of verb 2, like in:
The man went over the street. He saw a woman.
It is ambiguous here whether he saw the woman while he was going over
the street or after he had done so. If Van Loon's findings are
correct, the choice of the tense in OIr. would in future give us a
clue as to which of the two possibilities is meant.