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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Apr 5 08:50:09 PDT 2022


> On Apr 5, 2022, at 11:00 AM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 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.
While I very much respect your expertise and your analysis, in this case I was not reading things into what you said. I was offering a reasonable explanation for the “bad data point”. We know that Klingon has homophones. Sometimes one is a noun and the other is a verb. We know that {lo’laHbe’} can be either an adjectival root verb, or an appended {lo’}. We don’t have any evidence that it’s impossible for {jIj} to be, like {lo’laHbe’}, two different homophonic verbs that can’t be differentiated by sound, but can be differentiated by usage.
>> 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.
Quite true. I’m with you on perfective quality verbs being weird. But “cooperate” isn’t stative. That’s my whole point. “Cooperate” is an active verb, whether or not it can take an object. It’s not adjectival.

When woQ luSuqmeH jIjpu' chaH romuluSngan'e’ je was written on the card, the definition was “cooperate”. If that is a homophone for the stative homophonic verb {jIj}, then this canon use of {jIj} isn’t stative. If that’s what you mean by “bad data point”, then we are in agreement and simply miscommunicating. I’m not saying YOU are miscommunicating. I’m saying WE are miscommunicating. My bad as much as yours, or maybe exclusively my bad. I only suggest the the homophone to back up your argument, not to challenge it.

>> 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.
I really like this specific model you suggest in terms of the perfective. The perfective sees the completion of the action as a point in time without reference to the duration of the action. The continuous aspect refers to the duration of the action as a fat thing with no reference to the beginning or end. Those boundaries are left vague and unstated. With no affix, you refer to some fractional duration of the activity without reference to that ending boundary or to the duration as a whole. The fraction can be a point in time (other than the end) or of some duration shorter than the entire duration. The focus is on the activity itself instead of any reference to duration. The length of the duration can be vague because it is insignificant to the meaning of the statement.
> 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).
Yep. If you had something specific to say that you think would be meaningfully expressed with {-pu’} on a stative verb, then you’d have a reason to explore this, but like you, I don’t foresee that circumstance. Starting with “Okay, so we put {-pu’} on a stative verb. What does this mean?” I think you are putting the cart in front of the Sargh, and the tail is wagging the targh.
> -- 
> SuStel
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