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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Apr 5 08:00:47 PDT 2022

On 4/5/2022 10:23 AM, Iikka Hauhio wrote:
>     I don't automatically take every gloss that starts with/be/as
>     proving a quality verb, so I'm not convinced*jIj*is one.
>> *jIj* is used in *yuQjIjDIvI' *etc. where it seems to be used 
> adjectivally (Union of cooperative planets). As it's a compound we 
> cannot be sure that its components can be used individually, but it's 
> some evidence for *jIj* being a quality verb.

I said it was a bad data point, not that I have judged it to be not a 
quality verb. Don't read more into my words than what I said.

> It should be noted that the "be cooperative" meaning was given after 
> the "cooperate" meaning. I don't see why to publish this new gloss 
> unless the reason was to clarify that *jIj* indeed can be used as a 
> quality verb.

That's possible. But given the initial gloss, that makes *jIj* a bad 
data point for the question of using perfective on quality verbs.

> As for using perfective with the quality verbs, I don't see why they'd 
> work any differently than other intransitive verbs. Why would 
> *jIQongpu' */"I was asleep" /be allowed, but *jIQuppu' */"I was young" 
> /not? Just as sleeping is a completed event, being young is also a 
> completed event. I was young, I can look that as a completed whole.

For the same reason that you can say *ghu Qup* but not *ghu Qong.* 
Sleeping is an event; being young is not an event. Being asleep is a 
state. The issue is more complicated for *Qong,* because in English 
/sleep/ is an event and /be asleep/ is a state. *jIQongpu'* would be 
most accurately translated as /I slept/ and would be used in a context 
of looking back at a point where I engaged in the single act of 
sleeping, whose flow over time is compressed. *jIQong* would be most 
accurately translated in the past tense as /I was asleep/ and would be 
used in a context of describing my state at a particular point in the past.

Anyway, the point here is that there is a dearth of perfective on 
quality verbs in Klingon that may be significant. I'm not saying 
outright that you can't put perfective on a quality, but I am saying 
that it may be unusual and probably doesn't mean what you think it 
means. If you're thinking that it means that at some point in the past 
the subject had the quality and that point is over now, that's not using 
perfective correctly. That's just past tense. By using perfective on a 
quality, you're saying that the expression of the quality includes not 
only the quality but the completion of the quality, all in one "moment" 
(however long a moment is in context).

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