[tlhIngan Hol] rIntaH and be-verbs

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Jan 30 06:13:41 PST 2020

On 1/30/2020 8:47 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> {jagh vIjonchoHpu'}:
> I've have begun to capture the enemy. The event which has been 
> completed, is "my beginning the enemy's capture". But this sentence, 
> does not specify whether "the capturing" is completed.
> Theoretically, it could mean as well "I begin that I have captured. 
> the enemy", but this translation, makes no sense.

You have it exactly right. The beginning of the capturing is a completed 
event. Now you're onto the stage that could no longer be called /beginning./

> {HoDvaD jagh vIjonchoHmoHpu'}:
> I've caused the captain to begin to capture the enemy. The event which 
> has been completed, is the "my causing of the captain". The sentence 
> does not specify, whether the "capturing is completed".
> Theoretically, it could mean too "I cause that the captain has begun 
> to capture the enemy", but again this makes no sense.

Correct. I'll bet Klingon time travel involves a lot of those nonsense 
combinations starting to make sense.

> Suppose I write:
> {reH jIQuchpu'}
> always I've been happy
> ..with the intention of meaning something like "In the past, I'always 
> been happy to (whatever)".
> Does it make any sense ? The only way I can understand it is, "I've 
> been happy, that happiness is over, and this always has happened".
> Would you understand this sentence differently ?

When one says /I've always been happy,/ one generally means that 
happiness has always been one's state up to this point, and says nothing 
about whether happiness will continue. That would be *reH jIQuch* with 
no completion aspect. It's not describing something that's completed; 
it's describing something that occurred in the past without regard to 
its completion, and that would be tense. But the sentence *reH jIQuch* 
doesn't place the sentiment in any time context, so it's just as likely 
to mean /I am always happy/ or /I will always be happy/ as it does /I 
have always been happy./ Or it could mean all of those things at once. 
To get the meaning you want, you must add an explicit time context. 
*pa'logh reH jIQuch*/In the past I was always happy./

If you include the perfective suffix, it means something like you're 
looking back at the whole experience of being happy, including its 
ending. I don't think the *reH* on such a sentence would be very useful. 
Maybe it emphasizes how complete the happiness was over a long time, 
that there were no breaks in the overall happiness. This might contrast 
it with *motlh jIQuchpu'*/I was usually happy; that happiness is completed./

Again, I think perfective on quality verbs can be tricky and not very 
useful, so I wouldn't hold up my attempts at discerning a meaning as 


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