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

luis.chaparro at web.de luis.chaparro at web.de
Tue Feb 22 03:45:36 PST 2022


> **ram maghom** The meeting takes place at night.
> **qaStaHvIS ram, maghom** The meeting takes place at some point during the night.
> The difference is one of emphasis and focus. Both are grammatical.

Ok, it's very clear now!

> Most English speakers don't understand the difference between perfect and perfective. I daresay many list members here don't understand the difference between perfect and perfective. I think Spanish distinguishes between perfective (preterite) and imperfective in the past tense, e.g., yo hablaba "I spoke" to refer to an ongoing or recurring act of speaking; yo hablé "I spoke" to refer to a completed instance of speaking. This is basically the same as Klingon jIjatlh (approximately equal to Spanish imperfective, but not the continuous meaning, I spoke occasionally, regularly, sometimes, etc.); jIjatlhtaH (another aspect of Spanish imperfective, but the one with the continuous meaning, I was speaking); jIjatlhpu' (like Spanish preterite, I spoke one time, but also like Spanish perfect tenses, yo he hablando).>But Klingon breaks apart Spanish imperfective into -taH and no-aspect-suffix, and its aspects can be used in past, present, or future.

Thank you for taking the time to *translate* it into the Spanish grammar! ¿Hablas español?

>> As I said, I'm not an expert on this matter and probably this problem doesn't exist in the Klingon language itself, so leaving aside the discussion about the aspect of the Spanish sentences, I would like to know how you would say those two sentences in Klingon and, I hope I don't bother you too much, how you would say in Klingon *When you arrive, I will have been writing for an hour*, *When you arrive, I will be writing* and *When you arrive, I will be writing for an hour*.
> bIpawDI', qaStaHvIS wa' rep jIghItlhtaH.
> bIpawDI', jIghItlhtaH.
> I'm not sure what you're last one means. When you arrive, I will start writing and do it for an hour?
> bIpawDI', jIghItlhchoH; qaStaHvIS wa' rep jIghItlhtaH.

Yes, that was exactly what I was trying to say.

I find this subject really interesting, so I hope you excuse me if I still have a couple of questions I would like to discuss. I understand what you mean when you say that Klingon breaks apart Spanish imperfective into *-taH* (*estaba escribiendo*, *I was writing*) and *no-aspect-suffix* (*escribía*, *I wrote*). However, *estuve escribiendo* (*I was writing*, *Pretérito Indefinido*) is for me, as Spanish speaker, something with represents a mix between continuous and perfective. For example, I cannot say: *Cuando llegaste, estuve escribiendo un texto* if what I want to say is *When you arrived, I was writing a text*, because *estuve escribiendo* presents the ongoing action of writing as a whole and completed *before* the arriving, although not focusing on the result of the action like *había escrito* (*had written*, *Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto*: focus on the result, the text is here finished).

That's the reason why something like *bIpawDI', qaStaHvIS wa' rep jIghItlhtaH* sounds for me, as Spanish speaker, really strange. I would interpret it probably as the third option, *When you arrive, I will be writing for an hour (I will start writing and do it for an hour)*, and in order to get the meaning *I will have been writing for an hour* I would probably decide to give up the continuous aspect and say something like *jIghItlhpu'* (*I will have written*).

I'm not trying to say that Klingon must work as Spanish does, I'm just trying to understand how Klingon works in order to avoid *Spanish* mistakes. From what you are saying I see three possibilities:

1. *-taH* always expresses continuous and imperfective aspect, so if I want to express perfective aspect I must use *-pu'* and give up *-taH*.

2. *-taH* always expresses continuous aspect and we should use it when we prefer, for whatever reason, to present the action as continuous - the perfective or imperfective aspect of the action comes from the context.

3. I'm absolutely not getting it.

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