Chinese has no “tense” — no markings for past / present and future.
Theoretical Chinese Linguistics has lots of theories. Maybe languages don’t need tenses at all, they speculate. Fascinating view and I’m learning.
Annotating “tense” in a tense-less language
Nianwen Xue, Hua Zhong and Kai-Yun Chen
Temporal deixis. I’m so thrilled to see that phrase.
Deixis is a “where you are right now” perspective and I’m thrilled when it comes up. It’s so rare that I get to see it.
“However, Chinese speakers, like speakers of other world languages, use the moment of speech as the temporal deixis to temporally locate situations in their communication. One piece of evidence for this is that temporal adverbials like (“today”),
all assume a temporal deixis that is the moment of speech.”
“Annotating “tense” in a tense-less language”