tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Dec 10 18:29:08 2007

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

QeS 'utlh (qeslagh@hotmail.com)



ghItlhpu' ghunchu'wI', ja':
>Note {...luDub 'e' reH lunIDtaH...}.

jangpu' SuStel, ja':
>And maybe that's just an error. Kinda hard to say.

It quite probably is. The placement of {reH} is also weird; one would expect it to appear before the object pronoun {'e'}, lending credence to this being an error.

However, if one interprets this as the sort of "intentional ungrammaticality" discussed in KGT, this could be viewed as a deliberate use of {-taH} to draw special attention to it: "they always *continue* trying". The misplacement of {reH} might be for a similar purpose. Although it's found in a different section, there's another example of a technically illegal {-taH} in KGT where such an interpretation would probably be appropriate: {wo' DevtaHjaj ghawran} "may Gowron continue to lead the Empire!".

I'm of the opinion that both of these examples (which, no matter how one cuts it, are still canon whether we like it or not) probably fall into the percentage of the time when the rules aren't so strictly adhered to, per Okrand:

"...the course to follow for a student probably falls somewhere between. You don't want to go too fast and loose or too far afield because then nobody will understand what you are doing. You won't have any rules at all. You don't want to be too rigorous, either. It's not math. One of the things that I think about when I read what people have to say about Klingon sometimes is when someone argues that things have to be one way, I think, "No, it shouldn't always be like that." It should be like that in maybe 75% or 80% of the cases, but not 100%. Languages don't work that way." (Interview with Marc Okrand, HQ 7.4)

chuppu' ghunchu'wI', ja':
>I suggest that {bIpuj 'e' vItob rIntaH} is a more faithful  
>translation of "I have proven that you are weak."

jang SuStel, ja':
>Only if you mean "It's proven once and for all," which isn't what I 
>said.

If the perfective accomplishment concept is so important that it *must* be retained in the translation, then it's probably important enough to be rendered with {rIntaH} here. {tob} has a fair amount of finality about it as it is (recalling the additional gloss "test conclusively"), and if I were listening to a Klingon talking to another Klingon about him being proven weak, then I'd probably expect to hear {bIpuj 'e' vItob rIntaH}, with {rIntaH} for dramatic effect, even if the action could be undone. It's an accusation as much as a statement. Obviously this can't be generalised to all verbs and other situations, but in this case I think {bIpuj 'e' vItob rIntaH} is quite likely to be how a Klingon would translate the English sentence "I have proven that you are weak".

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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