tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Nov 22 19:40:27 2009

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Re: Klingon Sentence Structure

Steven Lytle (lytlesw@gmail.com)



I'm not sure it would be relevant. The whole issue is tense vs. aspect.
Regardless of the translation of verbs with -pu', the tense is not marked
and can be any tense (past/present/future) in English.
lay'tel SIvten

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 10:33 PM, Christopher Doty <suomichris@gmail.com>wrote:

> Yes, exactly, "will run" does not mean a complete action, and it would
> thus be incorrect to translate qetpu' as "will run," just as with
> Heghpu'.  Essentially everything you've said in this last email is
> what I have been saying, except that "will die" can mean a completed
> event.  Can you give an example of this?  I'm not sure what you mean.
>
> Chris
>
> On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 19:21, Steven Lytle <lytlesw@gmail.com> wrote:
> > 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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