tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Feb 02 13:49:26 1999

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Re: KLBC: jIjat

From: Alan Anderson <>

>ja' SuStel:

Grr.  jIja'be'.  jIjatlhqu'.  :)

>>In an {X-taHvIS Y} situation, you know the following:
>>(1) X is continuous, because it has the {-taH} suffix.
>The fact that X is continuous isn't all that relevant.  It's got
>the {-vIS} suffix, which requires {-taH} along with it; using the
>{-vIS} only works when the action is an ongoing one.

It may not be relevant, but it's true.  And I included it for completeness.
{X-taHvIS} is always continuous.

>>(2) Y is not continuous, and it is not completed.
>We don't really know this.  TKD page 40:  "The absence of a Type 7
>suffix *usually* means that the action is not completed and is not
>continuous [emphasis added]."

Just like we *usually* have to use {net X} instead of {'e' X-lu'}?  I've
always seen this particular "usually" as being in the 90th percentile.  I
also don't like it when people use the word "most" to mean "more than 50%."
To me, "most" means "almost all of: we're talkin' high numbers here!"

>>If you want Y to be continuous or completed, you have to use the
>>suffix, for instance:
>>X-taHvIS Y-taH.
>If you want Y's aspect to be explicitly noted, you need to use the
>correct suffix.  If the aspect is unimportant, you don't *have* to
>explain it.

Sort of.  That is, lacking an aspect suffix doesn't preclude the possibility
that the action has a non-instantaneous duration.  For instance:

jIyIttaHvIS jIbom.
I sang while I walked.

In this sentence, the singing is not continuous.  There is no continuousness
in the concept being communicated here.  There is nothing which says that
the singing was only one word, or only one song, or any other limit in
duration, but the concept is that the singing is not continuous.  We are
mentioning the fact that I sang while I walked.

jIyIttaHvIS jIbomtaH.
I was singing while I walked.

Here, the point is NOT that the singing is continuous (that would be
{jIyIttaHvIS jIbomtaHqu'}).  The walking is continuous, and the singing is
continuous.  While we're not actually focusing on the continuousness of it,
we ARE talking about continuous singing here, as opposed to the mere fact of
my singing.

Oh, sure, there might be times when other considerations might tell you not
to include an aspect suffix where one might otherwise go.  But you should
"usually" include the aspect suffix wherever your communication includes an
aspect concept.  If there's no aspect suffix, the conclusion is that the
speaker thought one shouldn't go there, so no aspect concept will be
included in the comprehension.

I've noticed that many people fail to use aspect suffixes (especially
{-taH}) where they should logically go.  Usually this is because the idea of
continuousness, although certainly present in the MEANING, does not actually
show up in the language.  I always try hard to look for aspect in my
meanings, and then put them in sentences exactly where they belong.

Stardate 99088.6

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