tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Feb 28 23:06:29 1999

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Re: Placement of aspect suffixes

In a message dated 2/25/1999 12:46:27 PM US Mountain Standard Time, writes:

<< chay' pIm? mIw yIDel. jIghoj vIneH. >>

Qu'vam vIchavnISmo' jIQuchqu'.

In Mandarin when I say that I "finish, complete, bring a task to its
fulfillment," the time stamp does not render the completion more remote
because it exists at the same time as the verb suffix meaning "finish."
Mandarin does not have tense.  I can say:  "jintian wo mai shu" means "Today I
buy [a] book."  The word order is the same as that in English.  "zuotian wo
mai shu" means "Yesterday I buy (bought) [a] book."  The verb did not change;
there was no conjugation, no tense marker, only a time stamp of "yesterday"
which makes the English translation past tense.  "mingtian wo mai shu" means
"Tomorrow I [will] buy [a] book."  Again the verb does not show tense; the
time stamp "tomorrow" is the only indication that the action will take place
in the future.

Now:  "jintian wo maiwan shu" means "Today I buy-finish [a] book."  This may
have already been done earlier today or will still occur later today.  It
could even mean the "finishing" is occurring right now.  "zuotian wo maiwan
shu" means "Yesterday I buy-finish [a] book."  The is equivalent to simple
past tense (perfective), not the pluperfect.  The correct translation is "I
bought a book yesterday"; it is not "I had bought a book yesterday."  To
accomplish that we need another clause showing that  a previous action was
already completed BEFORE this one got its "finishing."  "mingtian wo maiwan
shu" means "I [will] finish buying [the] book tomorrow."

Back to Klingon:  {-pu'} is not quite the same as merely "wan" "finish."  It
is given in TKD as "perfective."  It works somewhat differently.  In your NC
meeting with MO, you discovered that the time stamp governs all the time verbs
occur until another time stamp appears.  Is that not correct?

Now it is your turn.  Please explain more clearly what MO has caused you to
know about how {-pu'} works when coupled with time stamps.  I had never heard
nor read anything about this.  You, ghunchu'wI', perhaps SuStel and Holtej
already knew.  How did you disseminate this information you got in your NC
interview?  Why did I not read messages to this effect on our KLI listserv?


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