[tlhIngan Hol] thoughts on the perfective {-pu'}

mayqel qunen'oS mihkoun at gmail.com
Tue Apr 5 05:16:04 PDT 2022

Thank you SuStel for having the patience to explain all this. As a result
of this thread, I'm actually for the first time optimistic that I'll
succeed in reducing the frequency I misuse aspect.

But there's something which I still wonder.

> 6. If I'm looking back from the present on quality verbs,
> but the quality described can't be described by the "used to", perfective
is used:
> In the past the water has been hot
> In the past there was just one (or maybe two/three/more) occasion(s) when
the water was hot
> (the second sentence describes the intended meaning)
> pa'logh tujpu' bIQ
> In the past the water often has been hot
> pa'logh pIj tujpu' bIQ
> This one I don't agree with. The words used to aren't necessary to avoid
> they're just a convenient, but incomplete, test to see if you're thinking
in terms of perfective
> or not. Besides, I don't see why the water has often been hot couldn't be
said as the water
> often used to be hot. So I don't think you're looking at used to in quite
the right way.

Reading your reply, at first I couldn't understand the reason which made
you disagree. But then I read your next comments:

> it means if you want to describe possessing a quality in the past,
> you're describing having that quality, not having completed having that
> Even if you're describing water that was only hot two or three times,
> you're still describing the being hot, not a completed action of being hot

(the former comment is from the < {je} "too" applying to the adverb >

And these two comments made me understand.

But there's still something I'm wondering. When would it be appropriate for
us to put the {-pu'} on a quality verb? Because -if my understanding is
correct- I can't think of an occasion when something like this would be
needed. So could you write an example where the {-pu'} would be necessary
on a quality verb?

Or perhaps does voragh know of a Ca'Non example where we have the {-pu'} on
a quality/stative verb?

> I don't know much about Modern Greek, but I think you distinguish between
>  imperfective and perfective in the past with παρατατικός (imperfective)
and αόριστος (perfective).
> [...]
> Doesn't it work with Modern Greek?

I wish I could answer, but the problem with me is that I don't know nor can
I understand grammar. Whatever English, German, and Klingon I ever learned,
I learned by following examples.

Perhaps it sounds strange, but it is true. As I regularly say "at the brain
factory, someone forgot to install in my mind the
ability-to-understand-grammar circuit".

Ζεὺς ἦν, Ζεὺς ἐστίν, Ζεὺς ἔσσεται· ὦ μεγάλε Ζεῦ
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