I edit a manuscript for non-chinese-speakers. The writer was an expert in Chinese language and literature. I want to learn, but I am not a native speaker. So, I have difficulty in interpreting how does the word 'field' relate to tense (as in present tense, past tense, etc.) in the following sentence:
In the Chinese language "we can find out the tense of a verb or event from the inner and outer fields, or - in the case of contemporary spoken/written Chinese - from the particulate that denotes the degree of completeness [as in perfect or participle version] of the tense."
What would be your take on it? Could he have meant 'character field' or something else? And if it is about a field relating to how characters are written individually or in a sequence, what 'inner' and 'outer' fields mean do you think? Thanks heaps.