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

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 04:00:00 PDT 2022

On Wed, 6 Apr 2022 at 01:46, De'vID <de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
> That seems like begging the question to me. If it doesn't make sense to
> ever put a perfective suffix on a non-action verb, as I believe, then there
> can never be a sentence with a non-action verb which "should have a
> perfective suffix but doesn't". The fact that no perfective suffix is found
> on a non-action verb in canon *is* evidence that the two normally don't go
> together, even if it doesn't prove that they can't.

Even though I believe the requirements of your test can never be satisfied,
it just occurred to me that there are examples in canon which demonstrate
why not.

{ghorgh tujchoHpu' bIQ?} "When will the water be hot?" (from TKD)

Of course, one can simply ask {ghorgh tuj bIQ?} to mean "when will the
water be hot?" as a general question about the temperature of the water.
But there is an implicit context here that the asker is expecting the water
to have completed being hot. But {ghorgh tujpu' bIQ} doesn't make sense,
because {tuj} (being hot) is not an event, action, or process. {tujchoH}
(becoming hot) is, though.

It was explained at qep'a' cha'maH loSDIch that {ngI'chu' muD} indicates
that the air pressure is correct. To indicate that this is the result of a
process, one might use {ngI'choHchu'pu' muD}. Note that the former wasn't
{ngI'chu'pu'}, and the latter has a {-choH}. I believe this is because
{-pu'} doesn't make sense on a state (the air pressure is correct), whereas
it does make sense on a process (the air pressure becoming correct).

Of course, this doesn't *prove* that {-pu'} can't be put on a verb
expressing a quality or state. I can't think of any quality verb where it
makes sense to say it was "completed", without first turning that verb into
an action (with {-choH} or {-moH} or whatever). (This includes {rop}, which
both SuStel and I have explained doesn't make sense with {-pu'}, or at
least doesn't mean what you claim it does.)

You asked for examples of a sentence that should have a perfective suffix
but doesn't, but the point is that no verb of state or quality can be a
completed action, so what you're asking for can't exist (except as an
error). But where we have a state or quality which is completed (as a
result of a process), we do have examples of {-pu'}, but they are always
accompanied by {-choH}. ({jIropchoHpu'} has a perfectly sensible meaning,
for example, for "I'm sick, I've completed the process of getting sick".)

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