tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 04 08:31:31 2007

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Re: usage of type-7 aspect suffix {-pu}

Steven Boozer (

Qang qu'wI:
> > poSpu' HoD mInDu'
> >
> > In the absence of any context, would this be understood to indicate 
> that the
> > captain's eyes are currently opened, or are currently closed?
> > Or is it undetermined and therefore dependent entirely on context?

>The sentence does not indicate any time context, so we don't know what's
>"current." All we know is that the sentence refers to the the captain's
>eye-opening being complete.

Except that {poS} "be open, opened" is not an action verb, but a quality 
(stative verb).  Okrand on {-pu'} "perfective":

   This suffix indicates that AN ACTION IS COMPLETED. It is often
   translated by the English present perfect ("have done something").
   [TKD 41, emphasis added]

I could find NO examples of {-pu'} on a simple quality.  In fact, the only 
example of a quality used with {-pu'} I could find was:

   ghorgh tujchoHpu' bIQ
   When will the water be hot? TKD

which is {tuj} "be hot" plus {-choH} "change in state", which changes the 
descriptive quality to a action:  {tujchoH} "become hot, get hot, heat up".

I would say that *{poSpu' HoD mInDu'} "the captain's eyes were [but are no 
longer] open" is not allowed.  To render the idea of no longer open, use 
the antonym {SoQ}:  {SoQ HoD mInDu'} "the captain's eyes are closed/shut".

> > I'm also not sure if Klingons would necessarily use the verb {poS} with 
> this
> > meaning (for eyes), of course, but I'm willing to live with it.

I believe that if you want to use {-pu'} you would need to convert the 
quality to an action by adding {-choH}:

   poSchoHpu' HoD mInDu'
   the captain's eyes have opened

or {-moH} "cause":

   mInDu'[Daj] poSmoHpu' HoD
   the captain has opened his eyes"

which BTW could also mean that the captain opened someone else's eyes (e.g. 
an unconscious prisoner under interrogation).  (I wonder if there's any way 
to distinguish "his eyes" from "his own eyes"?)

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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