tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Mar 13 23:03:26 1994

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Re: Narrative "tense"

     I vote for establishing the time setting at the beginning of a long
narrative and then using no aspect marker on the verb except to mark a
specific verb's relationship with that time setting. I doubt that the
narrative past exists in Klingon. I hope it doesn't. It would make little
sense, given that Klingon has no tense. It really doesn't have tense. We
don't just say that while using aspect to fill in for tense. Aspect is
different from tense.

     I think that it is less true that people confuse aspect for tense
because language needs tense, so we grab aspect and use it for tense. I think
the root of our confusion is that in English, we blend aspect and tense
together such that people think they are talking about tense when they are
talking about a mix of tense and aspect.

     "I had gone to the store," indicates both a tense and an aspect. The
tense is past and the aspect is that at that moment in the past, the act of
going was complete. This is the stuff for which you'd use {-pu'}. "I went to
the store," uses tense with no aspect. You would use no aspect marker in
Klingon for this.

     Does this help?


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