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

Iikka Hauhio fergusq at protonmail.com
Tue Apr 5 11:19:55 PDT 2022


> for a quality, that's weird. Again, I'm not saying it's possible, but it's weird, and I'm still not aware of any evidence that Klingon does it

I don't think it's weird. I've explained how such a word has a useful meaning. I think you too see how it could have a meaning, as you have multiple times described what it would mean, and I agree with your analysis. It seems the only reason you have to argue against this construct is that it is "weird" and doesn't fit to your personal model of how Klingon works.

> I don't think you can answer it just by declaring a yes or a no as Iikka is doing.


Please don't put words in my mouth. All I've said is that there is no intrinsic semantic distinction between a quality verb and a non-quality verb. There is a grammatical distinction: quality verbs can be used as "adjective attributes". That is the only canonical distinction there is between these two parts of speech.

All I've said is that 1) using perfective on quality verbs is both meaningful and useful 2) it isn't forbidden and 3) the lack of evidence is not proof of ungrammaticality.

We cannot expect there to be a canonical sentence for every possible combination of words and suffixes, so just that there are not good data points doesn't mean anything. Instead, to support this kind of claim, one should find a sentence that should have a perfective suffix but doesn't, and argue that the lack of suffix is due to an unwritten rule.

One interesting canon sentence to consider is vIneHpu' I wanted them that uses -pu' on neH which is a verb describing a state. While not an "adjective" like rop, it isn't an "action" either. If words like neH and Sov can have the perfective aspect, why wouldn't quality verbs too?

Iikka "fergusq" Hauhio

------- Original Message -------
On Tuesday, April 5th, 2022 at 19.40, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> On 4/5/2022 12:09 PM, Will Martin wrote:
>> Just to clarify, if I wanted to say, “I was sick last week,” meaning that all week, I was sick, I’d say {Hogh vorgh jIroptaH}. I wouldn’t say {Hogh vorgh jIroppu’} unless I meant that I started getting sick last week, I was sick for a while, and I stopped being sick, all within the boundary of last week.
> I would translate as follows:
> Hogh vorgh jIrop. I was sick last week.Hogh vorgh jIroptaH. I was sick all last week.
> For a quality to be true over a period of time doesn't require -taH. When you add -taH, what you're doing is expressing its flow over time and saying that it was continuous. Lacking -taH doesn't necessarily mean it was discontinuous; it just means that you're not describing its flow over time. You're just identifying a quality that applied.
> Hogh vorgh jIroppu' wouldn't describe getting sick, being sick for a while, and stopping being sick. All that does happen within the week by implication, but all the verb actually expresses is a complete event of sickness.
> If I say I ran home, it's true by implication that I started to run, I spent some time running, and I finally stopped running. But none of that is expressed in the sentence. All it expresses is a complete event of running, without expressing any internal flow of that event. That's what Hogh vorgh jIroppu' is doing, and for a quality, that's weird. Again, I'm not saying it's possible, but it's weird, and I'm still not aware of any evidence that Klingon does it, just as a non-native English speaker might not be aware that one cannot say I am knowing you. It seems to follow the rules, so it should be allowed, right? Not necessarily.
>> That perhaps brings up a condition that makes {-pu’} sensible on a stative verb. If the Time Stamp has a duration that completely contains the duration of the stative verb, I now see that this could make sense, given the model of the perfective as being an action (or state) that is “compressed” into the moment of its cessation, so the reference is to the cessation, not the duration.
> Think of it rather this way: the "moment" isn't necessarily a single instant. If I say The United States won its independence in 1776, that's perfective. The winning's internal flow isn't being described at all; it just happened and was done. It didn't happen in just one singular instant; it happened throughout 1776, but this sentence treats the entire year as a single "moment." This is a common thing to do.
>> If the context was my awareness that you were gone all last week and I ask you why you are here now, you might reasonably answer {Hogh vorgh jIroppu’.}
> You could answer Hogh vorgh jIrop I was sick last week. The perfective is not required to make this meaning clear.
> --
> SuStel
> http://trimboli.name
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