tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Jun 26 18:47:13 2009

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Re: KLBC: The North Wind and the Sun

ghunchu'wI' (

On Jun 26, 2009, at 6:36 PM, Mark J. Reed wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 5:50 PM, David  
> Trimboli<> wrote:
>> We generally accept that Okrand's use of aspect suffixes in TKD is
>> suspect, and we even know the reason: {-pu'} started out as a tense
>> suffix, but script rewrites forced him to change its meaning.
> Hm.  I know about other changes, such as the infamous resubtitling of
> {qamapu' jonta' neH} "I told you engine only!" as "I wanted
> prisoners!", which gave us the noun {qama}, the use of {-pu'} as a
> plural suffix, the {-ta'} suffix for goal achievement, and the verb
> {neH}.  (And took away the verb {ma} "tell", which became {ra}, to
> make the substitution less apparent.)  But I'm not familiar with a
> script-triggered recasting of tense as aspect, and  I can't think of
> any instances of {-pu'} in ST3 that weren't in the past tense as well
> as in the perfective aspect.  Are the details available somewhere?
> HolQeD, perhaps?

That same repurposed line also removed tense-marking from the  
language.  Basically, {neH} has to carry a past tense meaning without  
any indication of the fact, so by fiat all verbs came to carry past,  
present, and future meanings.

I don't think Okrand's mention of it has ever been formally recorded  
in an interview.  During one of the informal sessions at a qep'a', he  
was recounting his adventures during the creation of the language.   
He told us off-handedly that some of TKD's examples are a little  
muddled because {-pu'} was originally intended to be a past tense  
marker.  I boldly interrupted him with a surprised "Past tense?" and  
he confirmed that I hadn't misheard him.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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