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

mayqel qunen'oS mihkoun at gmail.com
Thu Apr 7 05:20:11 PDT 2022

Thank you SuStel and De'vID for taking the time to explain all this.

For the first time after 6 years, I feel that I start to understand the
basics of aspect. It feels as if I was in a dark unfamiliar room,
constantly bumping into stuff in my effort to find my way, and all of a
sudden someone has turned on the lights. So again thanks, I'm grateful.

There are two more subjects regarding aspect which I'd like to discuss, but
I'll post them as separate threads. But before moving on, I'll paste here
some parts of the discussion which took place in the < {je} "too" applying
to the adverb > thread

I'm adding these parts of that discussion here too for ease of reference,
since I think they are directly related to this thread as well.

********** quote starts **********

> I can't understand this. Does this mean that one can use the perfective
{-pu'} only on action verbs, and not on quality verbs?


No, it means if you want to describe possessing a quality in the past,
you're describing having that quality, not having completed having that
quality. -pu' doesn't just mean "it's over now"; it means you're describing
an action as a completed whole. But when you want to say that at a specific
time you had a specific quality, this isn't perfective, it's imperfective.
In that moment, you have the quality puj. You're not describing anything as
a completed whole. I think you're still confusing past tense with
perfective aspect.
I think to put a Klingon stative verb into the perfective would be to alter
it from a state to an event. The effect of saying ngugh bIpujpu' would be
like saying "At that time, you weaked." There might be an unusual
circumstance where you might want to say such a thing, just as there might
be an unusual circumstance in English where you might want to say "I am
knowing you," but it's not standard.
If I say ngugh bIpujpu', I'm picking out a specific point on the timeline,
that time, and saying that at that time there's a dot that represents your
being weak. It's not that you were weak for only a moment; it's that you've
zoomed out from an act of being weak and can't view its internal structure.
This is not a state; it's an action. If your "dots" on the timeline
represent big enough periods of time, you MIGHT get away with expressing
being weak as an action performed rather than a state experienced, but it
would be an unusual thing to do.

********** quote ends **********

Ζεὺς ἦν, Ζεὺς ἐστίν, Ζεὺς ἔσσεται· ὦ μεγάλε Ζεῦ
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