tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 04 23:54:48 2007

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

QeS 'utlh (

jIghItlhpu' jIH, jIja':
> 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.)

mujanglaw' Doq, ja':
>I completely agree with ghunchu'wI'.

ghunchu'wI' jIHbe'. QeS 'utlh jIH.

> 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.

mujang Doq, ja':
>I completely disagree with ghunchu'wI'.

Again, I'm not ghunchu'wI'. You're completely within your rights to disagree, though in reading your message, you seem actually not to be disagreeing with my use of {moHpu'}, but with my use of {qaStaHvIS} in conjunction with {moHpu'}, which is a separate issue and one which has no bearing on whether quality verbs can take {-pu'}.

>{qaStaHvIS wa'maH chorgh DIS moHpu'...} does not mean "He's been
>ugly for eighteen years..."

I don't think {-DI'} is any better. "As soon as eighteen years happened, he had been ugly." It's important to remember that {qaStaHvIS} is literally a sentence meaning "while they happen", and translating it as "for" is a bit misleading. Maybe it's just best phrased by inverting the two sentences: {moHtaHvIS qaSpu' wa'maH chorgh DIS} "eighteen years had happened while he was ugly". That works much better, I think.

>I think it would be better to say {DaH 'IH matlh, 'ach QuchDaj  
>Haqlu'DI' moHpu'.} "Now, Maltz is handsome, but when he had his
>forehead surgery, he had been ugly." The surgery marks the end
>of his ugliness.

Yes, your phrasing works fine (although the two sentences should be switched to preserve the contrast in the English: {QuchDaj Haqlu'DI' moHpu', 'ach DaH 'IH matlh}).

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

not nItoj Hemey ngo' juppu' ngo' je
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