So if there is no distinction between future, present, and past tense, then "Hegh Torgh" can mean either "Torg [has] died," "Torg dies," or "Torg will die" (at some point in the future). Even more so than with other verbs, isn't this just a wee bit confusing as to Torgh's actual state of existence at any given time?
I get it with most of the verbs. But, maybe you need to use a definitive "Torgh is dead" sentence, with an adjective, to confirm that Torgh has actually died. Otherwise, this sentence is both ambiguous and essentially meaningless, as everyone will die at some point ...
The perfective aspect can help with that -- Heghpu' torgh for "Torg has died" would be more or less the same as "Torg is dead".
But even that could mean "Torg will have died" (completed action in the future).
If you really want to nail the action down to a specific time, you can use a time -- wa'Hu' Hegh torgh. "Torg died yesterday."
Note, even an adjective sentence would be no help -- HoS torgh, for example, could mean either "Torg is strong" or "Torg was strong" or "Torg will be strong".
Thanks. It just kind of takes the impact away from the verb somewhat. You can announce that someone has died, and it will still be almost meaningless. For example, imagine the following conversation:
Keylehr: Heghpu' Duras.
Worf: What? Duras is dead? How did it happen?
Keylehr: Oh, no, the fool's not dead yet. But, he will have died - at some point. Had you going there for a minute, didn't I, Worf? Pretty silly language, Klingon, amirite?
I can see that modifiers are going to be helpful in situations like this. Or an adjectival form for "dead," if there is one.
Part of what you are missing is that there will almost always be a time context on statements like this. It is not usually a bare pronouncement like "DuraS will die (eventually)!" It will be something like, "Now we can be happy! DuraS is dead!" Or "Tomorrow the duel will be over and DuraS will be dead."
Well, I suppose I'm missing them because I haven't gotten to them in the course yet. And, I think I was just getting a little silly/slap-happy with my hypothetical conversation. :-)
Technically, Chinese is similar in that there is no inflected tense on verbs or stative verbs, so it's pretty much the same thing: technically, you might not know the tense for certain, but at the same time, you'd rarely misunderstand it in context, because of the other modifiers that would be placed in the sentence. I do get it; I was just getting a little too philosophical about the potential for misunderstanding in this most simple of sentence structures, that's all. Sorry. :-)