tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Nov 22 20:35:40 2009

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Re: Klingon Sentence Structure

Steven Lytle (lytlesw@gmail.com)



It's precisely *because* tense and aspect aren't the same that I can say
that any aspect in Klingon can be translated with any tense in English. They
simply don't overlap. I'm assuming a lack of context (i.e., single words),
so pointing out that "wa'leS" implies a tense is irrelevant.
lay'tel SIvten

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 10:57 PM, Christopher Doty <suomichris@gmail.com>wrote:

> 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'.  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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