The tense vector framework in English is capable of being used for 2nd order temporal (i.e., time-based) projection. That is, to place a temporal anchor on a particular point in time, and then project a set of tenses with reference to that point in time.
For example, let us temporally anchor ourselves to the present:
- I eat breakfast (=One of my temporally indefinite feature is that I eat breakfast)
- I am eating breakfast
- I have eaten breakfast (= I possess the recent experience of completing eating breakfast).
- I will be eating breakfast soon.
Let us temporally anchor ourselves to yesterday:
- Yesterday, I (belong to a species who) eat breakfast, though I did not actually eat any breakfast (= yesterday, one my features as a human was the ability to eat breakfast).
- I was eating breakfast at 10 am yesterday.
- I had eaten breakfast by 10 am yesterday.
- I would be soon be eating breakfast, yesterday at 10 am.
How about anchoring ourselves to tomorrow 10 am:
- Tomorrow, I (will still be of a species who) eat breakfast, but I am not sure if I will actually be having any breakfast.
- I will be eating breakfast at 10 am tomorrow.
- I will have eaten breakfast by 10 am tomorrow.
- At 10 am tomorrow, I will be eating breakfast at 11.
Let us analyse the temporal projections of the following sentence:
I will have hoped to have had breakfast by 10 am, when I relocate to NYC.
The story behind the above sentence:
I prefer to have breakfast before 10 am. I seldom have breakfast before 10 am. I always hope to have breakfast before 10 am. I am relocating to NYC next month. I fear that my bad breakfast habit will follow me to NYC.
I have a premonition that the day after I relocate to NYC, I will have hoped to have had breakfast by 10 am. On that day, I will have the awfully unfulfilled wish to have had breakfast by 10 am.
Let us say that we recognise the following four tenses:
Let us also say that we wish to express our world with three modes of temporal projection:
Therefore, under the above supposition, we would be able to form a tensor matrix of 4 X 3 = 12 combinations.
It should also be noted that the subjunctive mood is expressible using the past projections.
Let us analyse a subjunctive case :
I had the chance to relocate to Paris last year. I regret that I did not take that opportunity. I can say that today I have, had the chance to relocate to Paris last year. I would also have had the joy of savouring having seen the Eiffel Tower every evening.
If I had relocated to Paris, I would still have preferred to have breakfast before 10 am. On the day after my relocation, I would have preferred to have had breakfast by 10 am.
I might have a chance to relocate to NYC next month. If I do relocate to NYC, I would still prefer to have breakfast before 10 am. On the day after my relocation, I would have preferred to have had breakfast by 10 am.
So, the tensor framework of English allows us 2nd-order time travel. I wish to propose that it could even allow us 3rd-order or Nth-order time travel.
Yesterday, I would have preferred to have had a day in my life when I could have preferred to have completed my research before the day when I had stopped preferring having had breakfast before 8 am.