[tlhIngan Hol] Time elements and *qaStaHvIS*, continuous and perfective aspect

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sun Feb 20 06:07:24 PST 2022

On 2/20/2022 8:12 AM, luis.chaparro at web.de wrote:
> In my last text I wrote: ** (I've changed *yIn* for *SIQ* following the recommendations). I have a few questions:
> 1. Thinking about this sentence, I wasn't sure if I should have said: *qaStaHvIS poH nI'*. I don't think so, because if I understand it correctly, *poH nI'* acts as a time element, just like *DaHjaj*, *Hoghvam*, *cha' ben*, *rep cha'* or *jar cha' DIS 2022*. All these elements don't need *qaStaHvIS*, right?
> 2. Since *poH nI'* expresses itself a duration, I'm not sure if there is any difference between *poH nI'* and *qaStaHvIS poH nI'*. When should I use the latter, if ever?
> 3. In Spanish and German, and probably in English too, there is a difference between *this week* and *during this week*. I would use *during this week* if I wanted to speak about something that happened all the time or several times among this week, but not if I only wanted to situate an singular event in the timeline (e.g. I wouldn't say *During this week I've eaten pizza* if I only ate it once and I just wanted to say when I did it). Could we render this difference in Klingon using *qaStaHvIS Hoghvam* instead of just *Hoghvam*? Or has it nothing to do with this?

All three of your points are wrapped up in the same answer. The 
difference between *poH nI'* and *qaStaHvIS poH nI'* is the same as the 
difference between /this week/ and /during this week./ One names a time 
in which something happened; the other names a time over whose duration 
an action occurred continuously or potentially repeatedly. Using *poH 
nI'* is extremely vague: you're saying that there was once a long period 
of time, and on the occasion of that long period, something happened. It 
doesn't mean that something happened for a long time — for that, use 
*qaStaHvIS poH nI'.*

> 4. All of this led me to a question I've wanted to ask for a long time. In Spanish (and in English I think) we can say something like: *It had been raining all day*, *It has been raining all day* / *It was raining all day*, *It will have been raining all day* expressing a continuous *and* perfective action. Since aspect suffixes belong to the same type in Klingon, how could I express this? Simply by not expressing the continuous aspect, for example?

Those sentences do not express perfective.

/It had been raining all day./ English past perfect progressive tense.
/It has been raining all day./ English present perfect progressive tense.
/It was raining all day./ English past progressive tense.
/It will have been raining all day./ English future perfect progressive 

All of these are progressive, or continuous, and therefore not 
perfective. /Perfective/ means an action is viewed as a whole, without 
reference to its internal flow. English progressive tenses do reference 
the internal flow of actions: they tell you that the action occurred in 
an ongoing manner.

Three of these are also perfect. /Perfect/ means the action took place 
before the time context of the sentence, and that the result of the 
action is relevant in some way to at the time context. /It had been 
raining all day./ We're talking about a time X in the past, and prior to 
time X there was ongoing rain, the state of which became relevant at time X.

Importantly, perfect is NOT perfective. These mean two very different 

Klingon aspects do not match one-for-one with any English tenses. 
English has rules about when to use progressive tenses that do not match 
the rules for when Klingon uses continuous aspect. (For instance, in the 
present tense, English must use the present progressive tense to 
describe /events/ that aren't /states./ /I know John/ is a state. You 
can't say /I am knowing John./ /I am making lunch right now/ is an 
event. You can't say /I make lunch right now./ But it is NOT correct to 
say that the correct Klingon translations are *John vISov* and *megh 
vIchenmoHtaH.* Klingon doesn't follow these rules. *megh vIchenmoH* is a 
valid way to express the fact of your lunch-making without describing it 
as an ongoing action, and *John vISovtaH* is a valid way to express 
ongoing knowledge of John.) English also does not mark sentences for 
perfective,while Klingon does. (For instance, /I slept on a bed/ might 
refer to something I did last night, in which case I'm describing a 
completed action without reference to its internal structure, so that's 
perfective, and can be translated *QongDaqDaq jIQongpu'.* On the other 
hand, /I slept on a bed/ might refer to the sleeping arrangements of 
myself and a roommate over all of last year, who slept on a couch, in 
which case I'm describing a situation, not a closed event, and the 
sentence is therefore not perfective, and should be translated 
*QongDaqDaq jIQong.*)

Now back to your original sentence. *poH nI' bov chep wISIQpu' 
'ewropngan.* You've got a mismatched subject and verb prefix. You use 
*wI-* to agree with a subject of *maH,* not a noun like *'ewropngan.* 
You're probably trying to say something like /we Europeans,/ but Klingon 
doesn't do this. The prefix must agree with the subject and object 
(direct or indirect). Let's drop the *'ewropngan* and assume we're 
talking about *maH.* If you're rather talk about Europeans, keep the 
*'ewropngan* and drop the *wI-.*

We've already discussed how if you want to talk about an action 
occurring over a period of time, you'll need something like *qaStaHvIS.* 
Let's add that as well.

We're also talking about an ongoing state of endurance, not describing 
an action without reference to its internal structure (so it's not 
perfective). We have two choices: describe ongoing endurance, or 
describe endurance in an open-ended manner as a general fact. The former 
sounds better to me, so that's what I'll do.

*qaStaHvIS poH nI', bov chep wISIQtaH.*/We endured a prosperous era for 
a long time./

Personally, describing both a *poH nI'* and a *bov* seems redundant to 
me. Just saying *bov chep wISIQtaH* would probably get the point across.

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