TAMPA: Temporal Contrast versus Temporal Nature
Within the TAMPA system, the five areas of analysis can be split between two categories: Temporal Contrast (tense), and Temporal Nature (aspect, aktionsart, perfection, and mood). It may seem odd to create such a subclassification, but the reasoning is quite simple: tense deals only with contrasting a series of references along a timeline. That contrast provides no information regarding the nature of those references or their likelihood or any other qualification. However, the ability to properly determine tense and to chart the proper type of references requires knowledge of the temporal nature of that utterance being dealt with. So, while tense has no effect on the other four areas of analysis, each of those four and how they work together determine how tense is analyzed. Also, while tense may be discussed independently of the other attributes, no single attribute within temporal nature may be analyzed alone without dealing with the other three. The temporal nature of an utterance shall normally stay the same regardless of changes in tense, and the temporal contrast of an utterance may be changed for the most part independent of its temporal nature. Thus, the split.
The important point is that temporal nature , as defined by aspect, aktionsart, mood, and perfection must be treated as a super-category as determining the temporal nature of an utterance requires analysis of all four areas and attention paid to how they affect each other; and, that the overall temporal nature of an utterance must be known in order to properly document its temporal contrast.