[tlhIngan Hol] Using aspect as tense
sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Dec 27 08:46:59 PST 2018
On 12/27/2018 11:06 AM, mayqel qunenoS wrote:
> So, could someone write a few examples, where aspect is being used as
> tense, as an example of what to actually avoid ?
You can look at "imperfect" tenses. English doesn't have them as a verb
form, but lots of other languages do. I think Greek does.
*naH jajmeywIj bIQ'a' HeHDaq jIyIt
*/In my youth I walked on the beach./
My intention here is to imply that I used to walk on the beach; it was
my habit to walk on the beach in my youth. Because we're not talking
about a specific action that was finished, but a habit or tendency, this
is imperfect. It is not describing a particular action I completed. If I
*naH jajmeywIj bIQ'a' HeHDaq jIyItpu'
*/In my youth I walked on the beach,/
I would be saying that in my youth there was this one time when I took a
walk on the beach, and completed the walk. It could not be used to refer
to your habit of walking every day.
*wa' ben Ha'DIbaH vISopbe'
*/I didn't eat meat last year./
This describes the general fact of my meatlessness last year, not any
particular act of eating. It is not describing an action that is
completed. If I said
*wa' ben Ha'DIbaH vISopbe'pu'
*/I didn't eat the meat last year./
This would be referring to some instance in which I was offered meat and
refused it. An occasion to eat meat arose, and I completed not eating it.
I always hesistate to refer to a Klingon verb with no type 7 suffix as
/imperfect,/ because it's not necessarily exactly what any other
language means by the term, and the word doesn't say anything about
continuousness. In English, a verb is often considered imperfect if it's
in a progressive tense, and these are often reflective of continuous
action. This is why I usually resort to the cumbersome /non-perfective,
non-continuous/ or some variation thereof.
One more, taken from early canon. Kruge says to Valkris,
*/Then you have seen it./
He pitches it as a question without giving it an interrogative suffix,
but that's not important. He's referring to an action Valkris did in the
past and completed. If he had said
*/Then you see it,/
and if it wasn't taken as clipped Klingon, Valkris would probably take
this as asking if she's looking at it right now. When not set in the
past or future, a perfectiveless verb may be taken as occurring in the
Exactly how you interpret a verb without a type 7 suffix depends heavily
on the context of the sentence, but barring some exceptions it cannot be
interpreted as a specific action that was actually completed.
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