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

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Mon Feb 28 20:23:38 PST 2022

I tried to express your point with my parenthetical “(or time after the end of the activity)”, but I see that it was an incomplete expression.

How’s this:

The duration of the action of the verb is like a boat in a sea. The time context is like you, dropping from the sky onto the boat or the sea. If you land on the bow, the verb gets {-choH}. If you land in the boat, it gets {-taH} or {-lI’}. If you land on the stern, or if you land behind the boat SO THAT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE BOAT, ALL YOU SEE IS THE STERN, then it gets {-pu’} or {-ta’}. Perfective is all about the stern. It’s as if the rest of the boat escapes your notice. The whole point of the time stamp is to give you the perspective of an action that is complete; a memory and not an action in any form except memory.


charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On Feb 28, 2022, at 6:57 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> 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.
> -- 
> SuStel
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