[tlhIngan Hol] Using aspect as tense

SuStel 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,

    *vaj Daleghpu'
    */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

    *vaj Dalegh
    */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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