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  5. "yInroH boSampu''a'?"

"yInroH boSampu''a'?"

Translation:Have you found life signs?

December 20, 2019

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mIQey

I'm noticing a lot of perfective used with the Klingon Sam in this lesson. English uses "Have found* a lot, partially because of tense expression that I don't feel would be found in Klingon. Is this a commonality between the languages, or is it that the moderators are putting their English perfective into the Klingon? Or am I missing something else?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

I hadn't noticed a trend, but I'll take your word for it that it's there. I would guess it just shows a contributor who has have found as a prominent phrase in their heads, so they've created a lot of Sampu' sentences. I don't think it's meant to show any kind of special properties of Sampu' or have found — there are none so far as I know.

By the way, have found is an example of English present perfect tense. Present, of course, means now, rather than in the past or future. Perfect means an action that occurs before the current time. Present perfect means an action that occurs before now. This is different than Klingon perfective, which means an action is completed. Perfective doesn't imply occurring before now, and present perfect doesn't imply completion. The fact that perfect and perfective sound similar confuses a lot of people. English doesn't mark verbs for perfective; you have to analyze the situation and decide whether something in English is perfective. I rode the bus this morning: perfective. I rode the bus while I lived on Earth: not perfective. povam lupwI' vIlIghpu'; lupwI' vIlIgh tera' vIDabtaHvIS.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mIQey

I think I agree with almost everything you said. My only concern is with one sentence:

"Perfect doesn't imply completion". I believe that there is an implication in English that perfect does imply completion. Oh, but as I'm writing this there could be a distinction in our definitions of "imply". (logical implication vs suggestion)

I agree with you that perfect doesn't require completion, but it does suggest completion. All of the cases I can think of where have isn't perfective, is when an additional helping verb are included, like have been. In such cases, have been should not use -pu, but that seems like an exception. I don't know how to express all of this linguistically, so pardon my ignorance.

So, back to the Klingon.

In general, I claim that have should be translated to -pu, unless there's a have been, in which case, the best translation is probably something like a -taH (or a -lI' as appropriate). There will also be other cases in which a the Klingon perfective is needed, and you've outlined some of those.

Is this claim of mine close, or am I missing something? Thanks for your help!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

"Perfect doesn't imply completion". I believe that there is an implication in English that perfect does imply completion. Oh, but as I'm writing this there could be a distinction in our definitions of "imply". (logical implication vs suggestion)

Perfect means it happened prior to the time context. Things that are completed might have happened prior to the time context, so those things are also perfective. Not all things that happened prior are completed. English marks verbs for perfect aspect, not for perfective aspect, but that doesn't mean a perfect aspect verb in English can't also be perfective.

All of the cases I can think of where have isn't perfective, is when an additional helping verb are included, like have been.

In general, I claim that have should be translated to -pu, unless there's a have been,

I have known Worf for many years. It's present perfect with a have and no helping verb, but it's not perfective, because my knowing Worf is not completed or treated as an indivisible whole. In Klingon this would be qaStaHvIS DIS law', wo'rIv vISov. But in Klingon, this is not restricted to a present tense; it could also mean I had known Worf for many years (prior to the events I am about to describe) or I will have known Worf for many years (leading up to the future events I'm about to predict).

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