[tlhIngan Hol] Regularity, periodicity, and cycles (was: mu' chu' chabal tetlh!)

Felix Malmenbeck felixm at kth.se
Sat Mar 25 08:36:07 PDT 2017

Since this is potentially quite a big discussion, I figured I'd separate it from the main wishlist thread. In any event, it's the sort of thing that probably requires a fair bit of thought before submitting a wish; probably better to hold of for next year.

== Regarding periods and regularity ==

Indeed, as Jeremy suggests, I don't think {roD} and {rut} cover the meanings of "regularly" and "periodically" that I have in mind; I'm thinking in terms of regular time intervals (i.e. "once every half-second") and periodic functions (i.e. f(x) = f(x + nT), where T is the length of one period and n is any integer).

== do and undo ==

I do think {bagh; ghIq baghHa'} captures what I had in mind for "do and then undo" quite well, although the slightly ambiguous meaning of -Ha':
Let's say I've coded a program which writes out a word and then deletes it. If I describe it using {mu' ghItlh nIqHom; ghIq ghItlhHa'.}, it could be interpreted as "It write a word, and then misspells it." I'll concede that I'm being extremely nitpicky, though, even by my usual standards.

Here one may also wish to introduce the distinction of undoing something versus doing it backwards:
Instead of a program which writes out a word and then erases it, we might have one that writes out a word and then writes it backwards.

A process which goes back and forth might then be described using either:

{mIw ta'. ghIq ta'Ha'.}
{mIw ta'. ghIq *does it backwards*.}

which may or not be equivalent depending on the context.

== ad infinitum ==
I think {reH} works quite well, and in most contexts it would be quite clear. However, I'd like a way to disambiguate between "always" (which is covered very well by {reH} and {Hochlogh}) and "forever" (which I feel is a bit trickier):

My fire alarm is always on, but it will not not run forever (because some day it will break, even if that is a million years from now).
The Earth is always spinning, but it won't spin forever (because it's losing angular momentum and also will eventually fall apart or be destroyed).
Black holes are constantly emitting radiation, but they can't go on doing so forever (because, barring some extreme scenarios, they'll end up evaporating).
The function f(t) = t^2 defined on the interval 0 < t < 1 is monotonously decreasing, but it has a bounded domain.

This distinction is not very important in everyday conversations, but in those cases where it is important, it's worth being specific about it. As such, this might be an instance where {tlhach mu'mey} would come into play.

There is also a further distinction which is useful to make, which is infinite in the sense of "repeating an infinite number of times" contrasted with the sense of "continuing for all time". Often, these two features go hand in hand, but there are exceptions.

The first sense could potentially be written using a word for "infinity", which you could then slap a -logh on.

The second sense could possibly be expressed using {jub} ("be immortal"). Other alternatives might include {not mevchu'}, {not baqlu'chu'}, {not rIntaH} or perhaps even {taHchu'}.

== General ==

As Jeremy says, we'll need a structure which allows us to describe the manner in which a process repeats itself. Since many of these distinctions are of most importance in technical scenarios, perhaps we should consider deviating a bit from normal conversational sentence structures.

One possible structure might be:

1. Describe the layout of the process/experiment
2. Describe a single step
3. (optional) Describe additional features of this process, along with mode of repetition (if any)
4. (optional) Describe a final state

For example, perhaps an endless Carnot cycle could be described as such:


1. ghu'vam yIjal:

SIp ngaSwI' tu'lu'. ngaSwI'vo' narghlaHbe'chu' SIp.

2. mIwvam *cyclic* yIjal:

Dotlh wa'DIch: *volume* wa' muq ngaSwI' 'ej Hat wa' *have a temperature of* SIp.
ghIq qaS mIwHom wa'DIch: choHbe'taHvIS Hat, ngaSwI' tInmoHlu'. *be reversible* mIwHomvam.
qaStaHvIS mIwHomvam, tuj *absorb* SIp.
rInDI' mIwHom wa'DIch, *volume* cha' muq ngaSwI'.
ghIq qaS mIwHom cha'DIch: 'aplo' 'elbe'taHvIS tuj 'ej mejbe'taHvIS, ngaSwI' tInmoHlu'. *be reversible* mIwHomvam.
rInDI' mIwHom cha'DIch, *volume* wej muq ngaSwI' 'ej Hat cha' *have a temperature of* SIp.
ghIq qaS mIwHom wejDIch: choHbe'taHvIS Hat, ngaSwI' machmoHlu'. *be reversible* mIwHomvam.
qaStaHvIS mIwHomvam, tuj tlhuD SIp.
rInDI' mIwHom wejDIch, *volume* loS muq ngaSwI'.
ghIq qaS mIwHom loSDIch: 'aplo' 'elbe'taHvIS tuj 'ej mejbe'taHvIS, ngaSwI' machmoHlu'. *be reversible* mIwHomvam.
rInDI' mIwHom cha'DIch, *volume* wej muq ngaSwI' 'ej Hat cha' *have a temperature of* SIp.
mIwHom Qav 'oH mIwHom loSDIch. rInDI', qaSqa'taH Dotlh wa'DIch.

3. mIw tlhegh De':
*be continuous* mIwvam.
*be periodic* mIwvam. qaStaHvIS poH [variable name] taH.
taHchu' mIwvam. *infinity*logh qaS.


A nice thing about this structure is that it allows us to talk about features like the ones described using verbs and nouns, which are a lot more flexible than adverbs. It also helps us avoid long sentences.

From: tlhIngan-Hol <tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org> on behalf of Jeremy Silver <jp.silver at tiscali.co.uk>
Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2017 14:38
To: tlhingan-hol at kli.org
Subject: Re: [tlhIngan Hol] mu' chu' chabal tetlh!

On Friday 24 Mar 2017 20:12:00 SuStel wrote:
> On 3/24/2017 6:13 PM, Felix Malmenbeck wrote:
> > == DISCUSSION ONLY: No new requests in this message. ==
> >
> >
> > Another thing that might be useful for discussing pumping is expressions
> > for describing repeated actions. Examples of useful distinctions might
> > include:
> >
> > repeatedly
> > do and then undo
> This is the sort of thing Klingon doesn't do generically, but it does
> well specifically. For instance, *bagh; ghIq baghHa'*/tie; then untie./
> > (ir)regularly
> I would expect *roD* /regularly /and **roDHa'* /irregularly /for this,
> though the latter is unattested.
> > periodically
> Either *roD* or *rut* will work for this, depending on which meaning of
> /periodically/ you mean.
> > cyclically
> > ad infinitum
> > with (increasing/decreasing/oscillating/unchanged) amplitude
> > with (increasing/decreasing/oscillating/unchanged) frequency
> >
> > For example, if we pretend that we have adverbs with these "definitions":
> >
> > {[irregularly] joqtaH tIqwIj.}
> > ("My heart is beating irregularly.")
> Right now we can say *roD joqtaHbe' tIqwIj,* though it would be nice if
> we knew we could say **roDHa' joqtaH tIqwIj.*
Trouble is, I'm not convinced this is quite the right meaning.

As {roD} seems to cover primarily what the usual/habitual action of something

{roD joqtaHbe' tIqwIj} suggests I am an android or a member of the undead, or
maybe J-l Picard depending on the nature of his replacement - it is not
typical for the heart to beat as its usual action.

I think {roDHa'} is closer, but I don't believe it covers regularly spaced
periodic/cyclic actions changing that regularity.

I think our point is things like {bagh; ghIq baghHa'} work once. One
wavelength if you will. The {bagh; ghIq baghHa'} needs to be described as a
cycle which repeats continuously, to describe the ongoing waveform.
It is the concept of *repeating* we're after. The regularity is to do with the
fixed spacing of the repeats, not whether an action is habitual or not.

Now I'm thinking of it, using {joq} in the sense flapping/fluttering for a
heartbeat is entirely the wrong imagery. A flag flapping due to the vagaries
of the wind, is as random and irregular as you can get. A fluttering heartbeat
is one you shouldn't have. A nice solid, regular, one is preferable.

But I'm guessing we're stuck with it now.

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