tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat May 15 15:48:50 1999

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Re: [KLBC]

On Sat, 15 May 1999, Flame 4 God wrote:

> how does one indicate future tense in tlhIngan Hol?
> ie /will be\ or /shall be\
> -qultoQ

You don't; there is no "future tense" in tlhIngan Hol. Nor for that matter
is there a "past tense". Klingon *does* distinguish between *aspect*, i.e.
finished/completed (perfective), unfinished/incomplete (imperfective), and
continuous action, by the presence or absense of a Type 5 verb suffix. To
tell about future actions, the imperfective (no Type 5 suffix) aspect is
used, often with a "time marker". Example:

jIHeghpu'DI' lutwIj yIbom.
When I am dead, sing my story. 

The {-DI'} on the first vreb tells when a certain action is to take place- 
in this case "when I am dead".

The lack of tense markers in Klingon actually strengthens the bonds of
Klingons past, present, and future, giving the language-and the stories
told in it-a sort of "timeless quality".


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