[tlhIngan Hol] Using -ta' during -taHvIS

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Feb 25 07:00:00 PST 2019

On 2/25/2019 9:42 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> Suppose I write:
> {qaStaHvIS wa'maH DIS, vIghro' vIje'ta'}.
> What does it mean ?
> "During ten years, I fed the cat once"
> "During ten years, I fed the cat an unspecified number of times"
> "During ten years, I was constantly feeding the cat"
> Which of the sentences above, correctly describes the meaning of the
> original klingon sentence ?

It could be any or all of them. Exactly what they say are different things.

The sentence describes "completed feeding." Whether you did it once or 
multiple times isn't specified, just that the feeding is completed 
during the ten years. Being completed, it is no longer the case that you 
feed the cat.

A similar ambiguity exists in English: /Over ten years, I fed the cat./ 
It /could /mean that you fed the cat exactly once during that ten years, 
but without context lending itself to that interpretation, it's more 
likely to mean that you were responsible for the feeding of the cat 
during the ten years.

The Klingon is ambiguous as to the number of individual feedings, but it 
is explicit, where the English is not, that the feeding is no longer 
active, and that it ended sometime during the ten years.

If, on the other hand, you just want to express that you were 
discharging your feeding duties over ten years, you probably shouldn't 
use perfective at all: *qaStaHvIS wa'maH DIS, vIghro' vIje'* /I fed the 
cat over ten years./ This does not say anything about whether you 
stopped feeding the cat after the ten years was up.


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