tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Nov 22 17:58:30 2009

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Re: Klingon Sentence Structure

Christopher Doty (

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 17:32, David Trimboli <> wrote:
> Christopher Doty wrote:
>> 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.
> The ambassador visited Vulcan frequently.
> pIj vulqan Such Duy'a'.
> The ambassador visited the Enterprise (and then left).
> 'entepray' Suchpu' Duy'a'.
> Whether to use an aspect suffix depends entirely on the context of the
> sentence. Any verb without some kind of aspect suffix is explicitly not
> continuous and not complete.
> If I just said, "The ambassador visited Vulcan," this English sentence
> does not make clear whether this was a one-time trip or if the
> ambassador goes to Vulcan regularly. Thus, in translating the sentence
> into Klingon, you need to know the correct aspect intended.

I disagree. I am simply stating that, in English, a simple past tense
like "We visited Earth" is not continuous, and is not habitual: it is
perfect.  To get any other meaning, you need to add something else to
the sentence: "frequently," as above, or "every Friday" or "once and
never again cause it was dirty and smelly and people were rude."  If
is a regular trip that he takes, the English sentence "The ambassador
visited Vulcan every Friday" means that he used to visit, but no
longer does--i.e., it is still perfective.


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