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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Feb 24 06:03:08 PST 2022

On 2/24/2022 6:36 AM, luis.chaparro at web.de wrote:
> SuStel:
>>> 1. Is this sentence right in English?: *She had been studying from morning to evening, so the next day she passed the exam with no problem*. If it's a correct sentence, wouldn't here the ongoing action of studying be presented as a whole with a beginning and an end and as complete before the action of passing the exam? Or do you say in English *She had studied* and therefore use *-pu'*?
>> She had been studying from morning to evening is the past perfect progressive tense. It describes an action that is continuous from morning to evening. It implies that studying at some point prior to the time context had been ongoing. The past perfect version of this would be She had studied from morning to evening. I'm not sure if this is perfective. I don't think so — it describes the same continuous action from morning to evening. Not being progressive in English doesn't mean it can't be continuous in Klingon.
>> In Klingon these would both be
>> po ram je qubbID HaDtaH ghaH, jaj veb vaj qaD Qappu' 'ej ngeD qaD.
> So, in order to use *-taH* or *-lI'*, it's not necessary that the ongoing action continues after the time context, right? This ongoing action can have taken place *before* the time context, like in the example above, or *after* it.

I don't think you're identifying the time context correctly. In *po ram 
je qubbID HaDtaH ghaH, jaj veb vaj qaD Qappu' 'ej ngeD qaD,* we have two 
distinct time contexts. *po ram qubbID HaDtaH ghaH* is set in *po ram 
qubbID*/the time between morning and night, /and *jaj veb vaj qaD 
Qappu'* is set in *jaj veb* /the next day./ *HaDtaH* is continuous over 
*po ram qubbID,* and *Qappu'* takes place sometime in *jaj veb.* (*ngeD 
qaD* is a sort of timeless fact, though it refers to something that 
existed during *jaj veb*). They take place when their time expressions 
say they do.

When we say that *-taH* and *-lI'* represent continuation, we don't mean 
that they necessarily occur before or after the stated time context. We 
mean that we're zooming in on our view of the action and talking about a 
point at which the action has already been happening and after which the 
action will continue. That point is not congruous with the time context, 
thought it is within it. When we say *po ram qubbID HaDtaH ghaH,* we 
don't mean that he was already studying before the morning and still 
studying after the night; we mean that at any point between *po* and 
*ram* we can zoom in to see the studying and see that it was occurring 
before that point and will be occurring after that point. It is 
continuous. This is what it means to say that we describe an action's 
internal structure. For perfective actions, we can't zoom in on it and 
examine its behavior at any point; we are zoomed out and can only 
pinpoint a spot on a timeline where the action occurred in its entirety.

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