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

Will Martin lojmitti7wi7nuv at gmail.com
Sun Feb 20 06:07:51 PST 2022

Addressing item 1:

You are lumping together “time elements” two very different things, and then equating them to a third thing that is different from either.

First, {DaHjaj, Hoghvam, cha’ ben} are all deictic references. They depict a duration with boundaries measured relative to the moment the statement is uttered. There have been billions of yesterdays, but if I say something happened yesterday, I’m only talking about one of them, and you know which one because it’s only the one measured from “today”, which is the day I’m uttering this statement about “yesterday”.

Deixis is all about the utterance. The person uttering it is the First Person, so “I” am always the person making the utterance, and even though each English speaker uses the same word to refer to a person different from all those other “I”s, you know who that person is talking about because of deixis. The speaker is always “I”. 

The time of the utterance is “Now”. The place the utterance occurs is “here”. So, you have person, place, and time, all pegged to the utterance. “Today, this week, two years ago” are all measured relative to the utterance, so they are all deictic references, and as such they are not just “time elements”. They are time stamps. They are anchors that place the action of a sentence. Klingon has a place for Time Stamps in a sentence. When you see a deictic time reference at the beginning of a sentence, it doesn’t need a Type 5 suffix. It doesn’t need a verb. It’s a Time Stamp. That’s it’s easily recognizable purpose.

Second, you have references to time you can point to on a clock or a calendar. Just like deictic references, they provide specific anchors in time to tell you when an action happens. They also serve as Time Stamps, and have their grammatical place in a Klingon sentence with no verb or Type 5 noun suffix there to tell you what this reference is doing in the sentence.

Now, consider {poH nI’}. It’s a duration, but it has no anchor. It’s a long time. So? When did it happen? We don’t know. It’s not deictic. It’s not a reference to a calendar or a clock. It’s a duration without an anchor. It is not a Time Stamp.

So, if it is not a time stamp, what is it’s grammatical function in the sentence? Standing alone, it doesn’t have one. It is not the subject. It is not the object. It has no Type 5 noun suffix telling us what to do with it.

Enter {qaStaHvIS}.

Now {poH nI’} is the subject of a verb within a dependent clause. It has a reason for being in the sentence. Without it, you have no explanation for why it is part of the sentence.


charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On Feb 20, 2022, at 8:12 AM, luis.chaparro at web.de wrote:
> In my last text I wrote: *poH nI' bov chep wISIQpu' 'ewropngan* (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?
> 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?
> Thank you!
> _______________________________________________
> tlhIngan-Hol mailing list
> tlhIngan-Hol at lists.kli.org
> http://lists.kli.org/listinfo.cgi/tlhingan-hol-kli.org

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20220220/efd058da/attachment-0002.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list