tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 04 17:27:16 2007

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

QeS 'utlh (

ghItlhpu' Voragh, ja':
>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 think Okrand's emphasis would have been on "completed", not on "action". "Action" is the only simple word that can really be used to refer to what any verb describes. I don't see why quality verbs - when being used as verbs - should have any suffix restrictions whatsoever. (Of course, the canon does seem to indicate that in the adjectival position, the quality verbs are very restricted in their suffix choice, but that's a different issue.)

>I would say that *{poSpu' HoD mInDu'} "the captain's eyes were
>[but are no longer] open" is not allowed.

I disagree. This particular sentence is still awkward (partly because of the existence of the simple antonym), but to contrive an example, I would have no problem with saying {qaStaHvIS wa'maH chorgh DIS moHpu', 'ach QuchDaj Haqlu'mo' DaH 'IHchoH} "he's been ugly for eighteen years, but now that he's had forehead surgery he's become handsome" (with the simple {moHpu'} "he has been ugly"). Here {moHchoHpu'} is simply inappropriate (although {moH} alone, unmarked for aspect, would also work). I don't think the fact that the single example we have of a quality verb plus {-pu'} also carries {-choH} is instructive.

>or {-moH} "cause":
>   mInDu'[Daj] poSmoHpu' HoD
>   the captain has opened his eyes"

I'd have to agree with SuStel: given all possible descriptions of the event, I like this much better. This is the way I'd always say it.

QeS 'utlh
tlhIngan Hol yejHaD pab po'wI' / Grammarian of the Klingon Language Institute

not nItoj Hemey ngo' juppu' ngo' je
(Old roads and old friends will never deceive you)
- Ubykh Hol vIttlhegh

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