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

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Tue Mar 1 06:03:55 PST 2022

On 3/1/2022 7:53 AM, luis.chaparro at web.de wrote:
> I wasn't trying to ask if a certain perfect tense maps to the Klingon 
> perfective aspect, I was actually trying (that's at least what I 
> think) to ask the opposite: I was trying to think about aspect without 
> hanging it to a specific tense. My question was why *wa'leS rep wa'maH 
> loS jISoppu'* must necessarily fit the English Future Perfect, and why 
> we couldn't give it another interpretation, *even though* there is no 
> English tense to express it:

The key here is not to try to understand it in terms of fitting or not 
fitting English tenses. What you need to do is understand what the 
Klingon elements /mean,/ not how they translate.

> instead of forcing it to a perfect interpretation in which the eating 
> will be completed before 2 pm (*Tomorrow at 2 pm I will have eaten*), 
> why couldn't we give it, depending on the situation, a perfective but 
> not perfect interpretation similar to *Yesterday I ate at 2 pm*, but 
> in the future, where the eating happens at 2 pm and is considered as a 
> completed whole?

English does not have any special markers for perfective concepts, so it 
doesn't matter what verb tense you use.

> In the past you can chose to translate *jISoppu'* with a perfect tense 
> (e.g
>   . *I had eaten*) or with a non perfect tense (*I ate*), depending on the situation. Why should we interpret *jISoppu'* in the future always as perfect?

Because Klingon perfective includes the concept of being completed, and 
to express something as completed, you have to be looking at it from 
after it is completed.

In English, we can use the simple past tense to look backward at an 
action. We are looking at that action from a vantage point where its 
completion can be perceived. If we use the simple future to look forward 
to an action, we can only perceive the beginning of the action. /I will 
eat/ does not imply completion. In order to take a vantage point that 
lets us see the future action as completed, we have to go even farther 
into the future, to a point where the action is finished. We can then 
look backward at it to see its completion. This kind of expression has a 
name: future perfect.

That's why I can't give you a future perfective that isn't perfect in 

Again, this is just the way English works. It's more important here that 
you try to understand the way that /Klingon/ works, and to do that you 
need to analyze and understand the Klingon elements involved 
/regardless/ of how they're translated into English or Spanish.

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