tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Nov 22 19:59:37 2009

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing



[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: Klingon Sentence Structure

Christopher Doty (suomichris@gmail.com)



Not relevant to what? A discussion of temporal/aspectual differences
between English and Klingon?

Regardless, you seem to think that tense and aspect are binary,
all-or-nothing categories, and they just aren't.  Both English and
Klingon have both tense and aspect: in Klingon, only aspect is
obligatorily marked, but tense can still occur (e.g., wa'leS).  In
English, we're mostly worried about tense, but aspect still occurs
(e.g., "will die" versus "will have died" is largely an issue of
aspect).  You can't just say that any aspect in Klingon and can
translated as any tense in English because tense and aspect aren't the
same thing.

Chris

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 19:39, Steven Lytle <lytlesw@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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'. ÂEssentially everything you've said in this last email is
>> what I have been saying, except that "will die" can mean a completed
>> event. ÂCan you give an example of this? ÂI'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. ÂHeghpuÊ 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." ÂThere 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. ÂThere 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. ÂIt 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... ÂThe Klingon is indicating
>> >> >> something that is completed, and the English something that is not
>> >> >> completed. ÂThey aren't equivalent at all. ÂYou 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. ÂIn TKD, it says clearly that "verbs
>> with
>> >> >> >> no Type 7 [aspect] suffix are translated by the English simple
>> >> present
>> >> >> >> tense." ÂSo 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. ÂIf
>> 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 visità 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. ÂSo 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. ÂThe 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
>> >> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >> >
>> >> >> >> >
>> >> >> >> >
>> >> >> >> >
>> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >>
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> >
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>






Back to archive top level