tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Mar 14 04:01:23 1994

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Re: Narrative "tense"

Hey, pretty nifty, for once we all seem to agree.  Everyone seems to be
pretty much on the same page that one doesn't need to litter the text with
perfectives when telling a story.  I like to think of this as being analogous
to the English case we often use in telling a story.  Consider:

" we come to this high bridge, and just past the bridge is a little
turn off area with a big tourist map and a you-are-here sign.  So we pull
over to check it out, and we realize that by now we're two-thirds of the
way across the state!  Now, we had this friend, John Lipinski-- we called him
"Lippy"-- who lived in North Adams (or so we thought), and was home that
weekend, so we figured, hey, we're already this far, why not continue on
and go see Lippy!  So we keep going... by now it's getting to be late Sunday

This is an excerpt from an actual story I often tell people about an amazing
road trip we took once, maybe a dozen years ago.  But this is how I always
tell it, pretty much in the present tense.  My take is that a Klingon narrative
kind of has the same feel, with -pu' and -ta' used mostly to indicate things
which had happened prior to the time-frame of the story (or to initially set
up the time-frame at the beginning of the tale).


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