[tlhIngan Hol] {je} "too" applying to the adverb

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Thu Mar 31 07:08:01 PDT 2022

On 3/31/2022 9:45 AM, mayqel qunen'oS wrote:
> jIH:
> > ngugh bIpujpu'
> > DaH bIpuj je
> SuStel:
> > The perfective on the first sentence is
> > wrong. Being weak is a quality, not an
> > action that is completed. There might be
> > some unusual situations where being
> > weak can be described as performed and
> > completed, but this isn't one of them.
> I can't understand this. Does this mean that one can use the 
> perfective {-pu'} only on action verbs, and not on quality verbs?

No, it means if you want to describe possessing a quality in the past, 
you're describing /having/ that quality, not having completed having 
that quality. *-pu'* doesn't just mean "it's over now"; it means you're 
describing an action as a completed whole. But when you want to say that 
at a specific time you had a specific quality, this isn't perfective, 
it's imperfective. In that moment, you have the quality *puj.* You're 
not describing anything as a completed whole. I think you're still 
confusing past tense with perfective aspect.

Personally, I think our near-complete lack of quality verbs in the 
perfective isn't a coincidence. There isn't a rule against it, but I 
can't imagine it being a productive thing to do in any but the most 
unusual of circumstances.

I mentioned this on Discord the other day: in Welsh, there actually /is/ 
a rule that you cannot put stative verbs (like /hope, think, belong, 
know/) into the preterite tense (which is basically similar to Klingon's 
perfective aspect, but only applies in the past), in a way similar to 
how English generally cannot put stative verbs into the present 
progressive tense. I think it's entirely possible that a Klingon 
grammarian would say that in Klingon you generally cannot put a stative 
verb (and in Klingon, "stative" means not only stative verbs like those 
listed above, but also quality verbs) into the perfective aspect. No 
such rule has been written, and I'm not claiming that anybody has to 
follow that rule, but it does make sense.

I think to put a Klingon stative verb into the perfective would be to 
alter it from a state to an event. The effect of saying *ngugh bIpujpu'* 
would be like saying "At that time, you weaked." There might be an 
unusual circumstance where you might want to say such a thing, just as 
there might be an unusual circumstance in English where you might want 
to say "I am knowing you," but it's not standard.

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