[tlhIngan Hol] Perfective with qualities / perfective and perfect

luis.chaparro at web.de luis.chaparro at web.de
Tue Apr 12 07:48:58 PDT 2022


>> I just want to give an example of this and if you say: *Ok, maybe that's possible in Spanish, but in Klingon we don't do that*, then I won't do that in Klingon :-)
> Okay, maybe that's possible in Spanish, but in Klingon we haven't seen Okrand doing that.
> That's as definitive as I can get.

:-) Ok!

> I understand the difference. In English you can replicate this with simple past and past perfect tenses:
> The conversation was very unpleasant, so I decided to leave. (The decision took place during the unpleasant conversation.)
> The conversation had been very unpleasant, so I decided to leave. (The decision took place after the unpleasant conversation was over.)
> All I can say is that Spanish imperfect and preterite tenses include a sense of "past" that Klingon verbs don't have. You can't set up multiple levels of being in the past just with verbs. You need other words to establish contexts.

So the way to distinguish in Klingon between *The conversation was very unpleasant* and *The conversation had been very unpleasant* is adding time context, as you do in your examples:

> DaSjaj naH ja'chuqghach, ngugh vaj jImejpu' 'e' vIwuq. On Monday, the conversation was hostile, so I decided to leave at that time.
> DaSjaj naH ja'chuqghach, povjaj vaj jImejpu' 'e' vIwuq. On Monday, the conversation was hostile, so on Tuesday I decided to leave.


> I would choose a more specific word; I don't think Klingon has one that covers everything that unpleasant does. Examples: baw'Ha'moH ja'chuqghach The conversation makes one uncomfortable, worried, hesitant; [...]

I like this one! By the way, I know we shouldn't use *-ghach* with verbs without a suffix, that's why I added *-taH*, but (I see it now) since *ja'chuq* has already a suffix, it wouldn't have been necessary. Is there any important difference between *ja'chuqghach* and *ja'chuqtaHghach*?

> You can also say naH ja'chuqghach The conversation was hostile, malicious, unfriendly, antagonistic, but whether that is unpleasant to the participants is relative (remember that SeymoH QeH.)

>From a Klingon perspective, that's a good point...
>> 2. *wa'Hu' rep wa'maH cha' jISoppu'* could have two interpretations, right?: *Yesterday, I ate at 12 pm* (perfective) or *Yesterday, I had (already) eaten at 12 pm*. Is context (or maybe adding something like *wejHa'*) the only way to distinguish these meanings?
> wa'Hu' rep wa'maH cha' jISoppu' means that you ate lunch at noon, not that you had already eaten lunch when noon rolled around.

Ok. I think that's the same problem again. Without further context, *wa'Hu' rep wa'maH cha' jISoppu'* means *Yesterday, I ate at 12 pm*. So if I want to get the meaning *Yesterday, I had already eaten at 12 pm*, I must add something. Maybe *wa'Hu' rep wa'maH cha' wejHa' jISoppu'*?
>> 3. I discussed this in another thread, I only want to be sure I understood it correctly: Although the sentence in 2 has for the past those two interpretations (perfective not perfect and perfective perfect), for the future (despite the fact this could be otherway in other languages) there is in Klingon only a *perfective perfect* interpretation (not a *perfective not perfect* one): *wa'leS rep wa'maH cha' jISoppu'* can only be *Tomorrow, I will have eaten at 12 pm*, right?
> It just so happens that in English we have only one kind of perfective future tense: the future perfect. This doesn't affect what the Klingon means; it only affects our translations of the Klingon. Without any time context given, jISoppu' means that I perform an act of eating, expressed as a completed whole with no view of the flow of time within it. It can equally take place in the past, present, or future without any change in meaning. It's just the case that when translating into other languages that DO change tenses based on past, present, and future, you don't get equal treatment of Klingon perfective.

Ok. But if *wa'leS rep wa'maH cha' jISoppu'* translates as *Tomorrow, I will have eaten at 12 pm*, we are forcing the interpretation that the eating will be finished *before* 12 pm and that's exactly the opposite we do in the past: Without further context *wa'Hu' rep wa'maH cha' jISoppu'* means *Yesterday, I ate at 12 pm*, not *Yesterday, I had eaten at 12 pm*. Am I missing something?

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