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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Feb 25 13:02:34 PST 2022

On 2/25/2022 3:37 PM, luis.chaparro at web.de wrote:
> SuStel:
>>> *I will eat at 2 p.m. and then I will go home* would also be *jISoppu'* and *vIjaHpu'*.
>> No, I will eat is not perfective. It isn't describing a completed action. The eating is not being described as a completed whole. Same with the going home. wa'maH cha' vatlh rep jISop; ghIq juH vIjaH.
> Is there any situation in which the English Future Simple can be translated into Klingon perfective?

I can't think of one.

>>> *I've lived here for two months* would be *vIDabtaH*.
>> Correct.
> And this is by the way the only case I could think of in which English Present Perfect doesn't translate into Klingon perfective. Are there any other possibilities?

If the verb in English describes a state rather than an event, it will 
do this. /I have been happy here for a year,/ *naDev jIQuchtaH, 
**qaStaHvIS wa' DIS. * /He has //slept all morning,/ *QongtaH ghaH, 
***qaStaHvIS povam Hoch*.* /I have known your name all along,/ *ponglIj 
vISovtaH, ***qaStaHvIS wanI' Hoch*.*

Using *-taH* on these isn't the only way to translate these, but it 
underscores the fact that these aren't perfective.


>>> *I've eaten this type of food before* / *I have eaten this type of food five times before* - I'm not sure about these ones. I would use *vISoppu'*, because I think we refer to several completed actions, any of them considered as a whole: we say we completed the eating once, two times etc. We're not speaking about the action from its inside, as it unfolds over time, without considering a beginning and an end (as we do when we speak about general truths, habits or actions that repeat an unspecified number of times).
>> You are correct: these are perfective. The collection of actions isn't important. What's important is that eating is being described as a completed whole. Whether you consider the entire collection as a completed whole or an individual act as a completed whole, it's perfective.
> Just to be sure I understand: *I have eaten it five times before* can be seen as five completed acts of eating, considered each as a whole, or as an unique completed act of five-times-eating, considered as a whole. Both are the same.

It's not important if it was once or twice or five times; the important 
part is that you're describing an event in its entirety as completed and 
without reference to how it occurred over time is what makes it 
perfective. If you did it over and over again, it's perfective over and 
over again. If you say /I have eaten it five times,/ you're describing 
five instances of doing something perfectively. If you say /I have eaten 
them,/ and you're referring to all five things, you're describing a 
/different/ act of eating, one that spans a larger amount of time and 
involves more consumption, but you're still just describing it as 
completed, and not describing its flow while it was happening.

>> There are some subtleties we haven't discussed. If you're telling a story, for instance, rather than reporting events, you might be trying to position the listener's viewpoint in the middle of the actions as they occur. This will affect the aspect. In storytelling, for instance, it is a convention of English (I don't know about Spanish) that a story is told in the past tense. Klingon doesn't work this way (see paq'batlh); the storyteller puts his or her audience in the middle of the action as if it's in progress, even if they tell you that the story happens in the past. (For instance, when telling a story, you might say something like, jaj wejDIch ghIq ghaH vIleghqa', 'ej jaj loSDIch murI' And then on the third day I saw him again, and on the fourth day he hailed me... If you were just reporting these things as completed events, you'd use perfective, but if you're telling them as an ongoing story, you wouldn't.
> You mean something like a historical or narrative present?


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