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

Iikka Hauhio fergusq at protonmail.com
Tue Mar 1 09:24:03 PST 2022

I think that there is a danger of over-analysing isolated sentences. «jISop», «jISoptaH» and «jISoppu'» mean almost the same thing: I eat something. The specifics of when and how often and how this relates to other actions I make depend on context.

I think it would be more useful to instead consider longer texts and how aspect is used in them. After all, notions like "completed" and "ongoing" require that there are other actions to compare this action to. Usually we write long texts, not single sentences in isolation, so it is important to learn how aspects are used as tools in story-telling and other writing.

Some time ago I discussed aspects with SuStel using the following story as an example:

I acquired my bat'leth many years ago. I was travelling in the desert, when I met an old man. He had been robbed and injured by thieves and couldn't fight. I took his bat'leth, tracked down the thieves and killed them. When I returned, I found the old man dead.

ben law' betleHwIj vISuqpu'. DebDaq jIlengtaHvIS loD qan vIqIH. luHejpu' nIHwI' 'ej lurIQmoHpu'. SuvlaHbe'. betleHDaj vItlhap, nIHwI'pu' vISam 'ej vIHoH. jIcheghDI', Heghpu' loD qan 'e' vItu'.

Here the perfective aspect is used to signify that we are looking past to completed actions, detaching them from the rest of the storyline. I think it would be useful if we used long texts like this as examples instead of individual sentences.

Iikka "fergusq" Hauhio

------- Original Message -------
On Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 at 19.20, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> On 3/1/2022 12:10 PM, luis.chaparro at web.de wrote:
>> Maybe I've found the source of misunderstanding. When you say in English *Yesterday I ate at 2 pm*, does it mean that at 2 pm you have already eaten?
> No. It means that the eating occurred at 2 pm, but doesn't say anything about when eating was completed. Without any further context, one would assume that the eating started at 2 pm, but it's not literally saying that. You're taking your finger, pointing at 2 pm, and saying that that is when you ate. You're not discussing how long it took you to eat it or when you started or stopped eating. 2 pm is treated like a durationless point in which the action occurred, even if the action is not literally instantaneous.
> --
> SuStel
> http://trimboli.name
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