[tlhIngan Hol] -meH with -pu'/-ta'

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Mar 13 08:37:44 PDT 2019

I don’t find it quite as odd as Sustel does.  I read {vIghro' tIQ vIje'ta'meH} as “In order for me to have (successfully) purchased the ancient cat”, although I probably wouldn’t have used an aspect suffix myself.  E.g. providing some context:   In order for me to have purchased the cat, I would have needed to use a credit card (which I didn’t have with me at the time).

BTW, in Russian you can use the perfective with negative verbs in the past tense - even when you haven’t completed your purpose - though under specific circumstances.  I found a useful brief overview online at http://www.russianlessons.net/grammar/verbs_aspect.php .  Here’s what it says WRT negative verbs:

     Using the perfective implies that the action was completed successfully, unless
     used in the negative (see note below). So for example saying that ‘He took an
     exam on Friday’, if ‘took’ is used in the perfective it implies that he passed the
     exam. Using the imperfective would imply that the result is unknown, or he
     didn’t pass.  [Or that he never took the exam at all.  Voragh]
     Aspects in the negative

     Using the negative with perfective verbs indicates the person failed to do that
     action. Using the imperfective will normally simply mean that it didn’t happen.
Я не позвонила - I failed to phone (perfective) (but I was expected to)
Я не звонила      - I didn’t phone. (imperfective)

There are many more subtleties to the proper use of aspect and tense in Russian which, trust me, are difficult for foreigners to master like a native.  Most never quite do; I’ve been at it for over forty years.

But back to Klingon… I could find no examples of {-ta’meH} or {-pu’meH}.  In fact, the only instance of a Type 7 suffix used on the same verb with {-meH} I know of is:

  molor vuQlu' tu'taHmeH chalqach toS qeylISvam legh neH
  Molor is amused, he climbs a watch tower to see this Kahless. (PB)

From: SuStel
On 3/13/2019 10:42 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:


> I wouldn't put perfective here unless I had

> a very good reason I could articulate.

What do you mean by that ?

Just what I say. Your purpose, when it was a purpose, wasn't completed, so no perfective. Unless you can explain exactly why you think perfective is required, I don't think it is.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20190313/a514eb66/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list