tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Feb 23 20:55:54 1999

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Re: Placement of aspect suffixes

I've let this sit for a few days so I could come at it fresh and in a
better mood.  Let's see how well I succeeded.

>>qepDaq tev gheSmeH gor'al, *raffle tickets* DIngevpu'
>>*Praying Hands Ranch*vaD Hoch Huchvetlh wInobpu'
>The context here was as the last part of a narrative of things that took
>place in the past, so I'll translate it using English past tense.  As
>literally as I can, I read this as:
>"In order for {gor'al} to take on the duties of a/the prize at a/the
>meeting, we had sold raffle tickets.  We had given each of those monies
>for the benefit of Praying Hands Ranch."
>I think the idea you wanted was more like this:
>"In order for {gor'al} to have taken on the duties of a/the prize at
>a/the meeting, we sold raffle tickets.  We gave all the money for the
>benefit of Praying Hands Ranch."
>Can you see why I've put the perfective on the clause I did here? >>

ja' peHruS:
>What I see is a misunderstanding of English grammar.  You call the pluperfect
>the perfective.

I'm not considering English grammar at all.  I'm translating into English
what I see as the "completed" meaning of the Klingon suffix {-pu'}, in a
way TKD says it is often translated, using a "has done" type of phrase.

>Are you trying to put the aspect marker {-pu'} on the {-meH} clause?  Would
>not {qepDaq tev gheSpu'meH gor'al, *raffle tickets* DIngevpu'} suit your idea

No, that doesn't work at all.  Using {-pu'} on both phrases is extremely
difficult for me to follow.  In order to have completed something, you
have completed something else?  The sequence of cause and effect is at
odds with the apparent completion of events.  For it to have the meaning
you seem to want, one of the verbs probably has to be interpreted in a
different time period than the other one.  That is not easy to do with
adjacent sentences, much less within the same one.

>Why do you think we "had" sold raffle tickets?  "Had" implies that some other
>action also took place before the recent past tense, in English.  It's like
>the second step of "completion" of the verb.

I already explained exactly why I translated it as "had sold" -- it is
because I rendered it in past tense, since it was in the context of a
story of things that happened in the past.

>No, we merely sold raffle
>tickets.   We "had" not sold raffle tickets in addition to the completion of
>some other act.

If your selling of the raffle tickets was not complete in the context
of the narrative, the perfective suffix {-pu'} does not belong.

>I think you have gone overboard on your differentiation of Klingon's aspect
>and English's tenses.

My differentiation between aspect and tense is quite simple:  they are
unrelated to each other.  If you intend simple past tense, perfective
aspect is not the right tool for expressing it.  In many cases, a short
perfective phrase in Klingon can be translated fine using English past
tense -- but it rarely works as well in the other direction.

>Look again at the simple sentences MO has included in
>the sample sentences between the main dictionary and the addendum.  TKD 4.2.7
>This suffix indicates that an action is completed.  It is often translated by
>the English present perfect (have done something).
>	Daleghpu'	You have seen him/her/it/them (legh see)
>	vIneHpu'		I wanted it/them (neH want)
>I cannot find "I had seen him/her/it/them" or "I had wanted it."  I cannot
>find a reference to pluperfect, only to [present] perfect.

What you're calling "pluperfect" I would label "past perfect", which is
the way I was translating your {-pu'} suffixes.  If you read further in
my response, you will see how I translated it in a present tense context,
using present perfect, and you will see how I found the phrases just as
difficult to interpret.

And you're quite right, there are no explicit references to Klingon past
tense, perfective or otherwise...for the simple reason that there is no
Klingon past tense to refer to.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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