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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Mon Feb 28 15:57:39 PST 2022

On 2/28/2022 5:36 PM, Will Martin wrote:
> SuStel and I are repeatedly explaining to you that there is no map between tenses (perfect or otherwise) and the Klingon perfective aspect, and you keep coming back asking if a certain perfect tense maps to the Klingon perfective aspect.
> Think of an activity as something that has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
> Now, give that activity a time anchor and click the beginning of the activity to the time anchor with {-choH}, or click the middle of the activity to the time anchor with {-taH} or {-lI’} or click the end of the activity (or time after the end of the activity) to the time anchor with {-pu’} or {-ta’}.

I agree with your main point, but there is a vital detail here that 
isn't right.

You describe *-choH* as anchoring the action to the beginning and *-taH* 
or *-lI'* anchoring the action in the middle. These are correct. But 
*-pu'* and *-ta'* are definitely NOT actions anchored at the end.

The whole point of perfective is that there is NO internal structure to 
the action over time. When expressing perfective, you can't examine 
things like the start, middle, and end of it. That's the whole point. In 
your analogy, perfective wouldn't be a ribbon being anchored at certain 
points along the timeline; it would be a thumbtack pushed into the 
timeline at a certain point. In Klingon, the perfective is used 
specifically to indicate that this unexaminable action is /completed./

But the ribbon/thumbtack analogy is useful. You haven't tried to 
describe the shape of a verb without continuous or perfective suffixes. 
They might be a short stub of a ribbon hovering over a certain point in 
the timeline but not anchored at all. Aspectless Klingon verbs are 
basically imperfect, but without any progressive or continuous sense.

> There truly is no tense in Klingon. Tense is wholly replaced by the Time Stamp.

Or any other time context, explicit or implicit.

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