tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Sep 02 20:52:53 1999

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Re: Vowels

On 2 Sep 1999 03:16:17 -0000 wrote:

> >Date: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 21:53:55 -0500
> >From: Alan Anderson <>

> >'ach chobDaq Sutay'taHqu'vIS, Holvetlh bolo''a'?
> >
> >In case you don't realize it, I'm asking if you used it *while* you were
> >in the corridor.  What you said was that while you were in the corridor,
> >you *had* used it.  It makes it sound a lot like when you were together
> >in the hallway, speaking Chinese was complete.  The meaning I assume you
> >want and the grammatical implications of what you wrote are at odds with
> >one another.
> Don't be *too* hasty, though.  Yes, in this case you're right, but I could
> easily see, in isolation or another setting, {chobDaq jIHtaHvIS tlhIngan
> Hol vIlo'pu'} to mean "I have used Klingon while standing in a hallway."
> The {-pu'} is perfective in aspect, and the time setting is provided by
> context... but context is an inherently ambiguous critter.  The -taHvIS
> clause might be providing it, or maybe it's provided by the still larger
> context around it, or the context of the here-and-now.  That is, the {-pu'}
> might have its scope limited by the -taHvIS clause, or it may belong to a
> larger environment.  I believe this ambiguity is consistent with natural
> language use and what we know about Klingon.
> ~mark
jIQochchu'. If you start arguing that the perfective is 
perfectly acceptable applied to "the larger context" being that 
of the speaker, despite an obvious time stamp on the sentence, 
what you are arguing for is tense. I genuinely believe that you 
are trying to rationalize a mistake and in so doing, you are 
swinging a wrecking ball very near the structure of Klingon 
grammar and its mapping of time.


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