tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Nov 22 19:23:06 2009

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Re: Klingon Sentence Structure

Steven Lytle (lytlesw@gmail.com)



You're right that "Heghpu'" can be translated (sometimes) as "will have
died". It means more like "had/has/will have died", depending on the
context. But to say "there is no sense at all in which "will die" can have a
perfective meaning in English" is not true. It can mean the completed event,
even though it's not marked in the verb. Perhaps in this case "die" is not a
good example. "Will run" doesn't mean a completed action.
lay'tel SIvten

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 10:07 PM, Christopher Doty <suomichris@gmail.com>wrote:

> Sorry, but no.  Heghpuʼ cannot be translated correctly as "will die."
> If Heghpu' did indeed refer to a future time, then it could probably
> be translated as "will have died."  There is no sense at all in which
> "will die" can have a perfective meaning in English, so to translate a
> perfective from another language into "will die" in English is to get
> it wrong.
>
> Chris
>
> On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 18:55, Steven Lytle <lytlesw@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Yes, indeed, Heghpu' can be translated as "will die". It is perfective,
> > completed, but we don't know from the verb whether it's completed in the
> > past or in the future, or even in the present. It's just completed at
> some
> > time.
> >
> > Even when you talk about it you get caught up in the English tense: "It
> > means the activity is over and done with." Actually it means "the
> > activity *was/is/will
> > be* over and done with" and we can't tell which without more context.
> > lay'tel SIvten
> >
> > On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 3:39 PM, Christopher Doty <suomichris@gmail.com
> >wrote:
> >
> >> 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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