tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Nov 22 12:40:44 2009

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Re: Klingon Sentence Structure

Christopher Doty (suomichris@gmail.com)



Wait, what?

Just because English doesn't morphologically mark aspect as a
separate, specific category doesn't mean that English verbs don't have
aspect.  There is no sense in which "visited" in English is anything
but a perfective: "visited" cannot be used if one is still visiting,
if one visits on a regular basis, etc.  It means the activity is over
and done with.

Likewise, Heghpu' couldn't be translated into English as "he will die"
because that's not what it means...  The Klingon is indicating
something that is completed, and the English something that is not
completed.  They aren't equivalent at all.  You might get Heghpu'
translated as "he will have died" in a given context, but note that
we've got the -ed on the verb again, same with visited.

Chris

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 12:22, Steven Lytle <lytlesw@gmail.com> wrote:
> Verbs without an aspect suffix are translated by the English simple present
> tense only because Klingon verbs don't have tense and English verbs don't
> have aspects, so the easiest way to translate the verb is to use the
> simplest English form there is (the simple present), and let the
> participants or context determine which tense is most appropriate.
> A Klingon verb does not show tense. It shows only aspect. It can be used in
> any situation where English would use a specific tense, so "Hegh" can mean
> not only "die", but "will die" and "died" or "did die". "Heghpu'" can also
> be translated by any English tense, with the proviso that the aspect marked
> by "-pu'" (completed) be included in the sense.
> lay'tel SIvten
>
> On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 2:02 PM, Christopher Doty <suomichris@gmail.com>wrote:
>
>> I'm confused by this discussion, especially ter'eS's comment that the
>> aspect suffix isn't needed.  In TKD, it says clearly that "verbs with
>> no Type 7 [aspect] suffix are translated by the English simple present
>> tense."  So without the -pu', the correct translation would be 'We
>> visit Earth' and not the intended 'We visited Earth'.
>>
>> Why do we think we don't need the perfective marker here?
>>
>> Chris
>>
>> On Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 12:34, Tracy Canfield <toastrix@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > I'd say that the aspect suffix depends on a larger context.  If I
>> > heard the English sentence on its own, I'd assume the speaker meant
>> > both "on one occasion in particular" and "now we're back", but that
>> > wouldn't have to be true.
>> >
>> > In French, for example, which marks aspect in the past tense, we have
>> >
>> > Samedi on a visité la terre <- just once, perfective
>> > We visited Earth on Friday
>> >
>> > Le samedi on visitait la terre <- repeatedly, imperfective
>> > We visited Earth every Friday
>> >
>> > The same English verb, "visited", can describe either the completed or
>> > the repeated action.  So I agree that its translation doesn't
>> > necessarily require a perfective suffix.
>> >
>> > 2009/11/21 Terrence Donnelly <terrence.donnelly@sbcglobal.net>:
>> >> --- On Sat, 11/21/09, Tracy Canfield <toastrix@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >>>
>> >>> Finally, since the visit is completed, we need an aspect
>> >>> suffix -
>> >>> something that tells whether an action is completed, in
>> >>> progress, or
>> >>> neither.  The marker for a completed action is -pu'.
>> >>>
>> >>> visited - wISuchpu'
>> >>>
>> >>> Put them all together and you get
>> >>>
>> >>> tera' wISuchpu' jIH SoH je
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >> I would dispute the need for the aspect suffix; otherwise, very nicely
>> put.
>> >>
>> >> -- ter'eS
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
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