Author Topic: Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect  (Read 1600 times)

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Offline Is.

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« on: January 29, 2010, 06:08:29 pm »
"We have seen examples of the dative and copula used for possession of abstract concepts and states, can it be used for physical possession too?
 
This can definitely indicate physical possession. In fact, that's the only way to express the concept of "having" in Na'vi--there's no verb 'have.'
 
But contrary to the general principle of flexible word order, "have" constructions usually begin with the verb. So "I have an ikran" is: Lu oeru ikran. Here, lu has the force of 'there is.'"


Fì'u txantsan leiu!

I just have to try it out...

Lu oeru ke eltu.

(PS: Could someone please help me translate "I have been waiting for so long for this" into Na'vi and PM me? It would be really kind, I can't figure out how to say "have been". Oel yolkrr fì'uti parmey fìtxan?)

Offline wm.annis

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2010, 06:12:18 pm »
Lu oeru ke eltu.

Hrrm.  I think that's correct, but if you're going to stick ke right before the noun, you might want to use the attributive version, lu oeru kea eltu, I have no brain.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Is.

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 06:16:12 pm »
Lu oeru ke eltu.

Hrrm.  I think that's correct, but if you're going to stick ke right before the noun, you might want to use the attributive version, lu oeru kea eltu, I have no brain.

Oh, I see. When should I use it as an adjective, and when shouldn't I? When it's directly modifying a noun like that?

Offline wm.annis

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 06:21:11 pm »
When should I use it as an adjective, and when shouldn't I? When it's directly modifying a noun like that?

Right, the attributive version is only for when you're using it with a noun, "no brain, no ikran, no etc."  I don't know if Swedish has such a construction, like English "no brain" or the German kein.

Probably ke lu oeru eltu would be fine here, too.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Mirri

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 06:23:14 pm »

(PS: Could someone please help me translate "I have been waiting for so long for this" into Na'vi and PM me? It would be really kind, I can't figure out how to say "have been". Oel yolkrr fì'uti parmey fìtxan?)

Wouldn't that just be the perfective? "have waited" "p<ol>ey"


« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 07:56:45 am by Mirri »
Ngaya poanìl new mune 'uti: hrrap sì uvan. Talun poanìl new ayfoeti -- ayfo lu lehrrap ayu leuvan.

Offline roger

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 08:20:24 pm »

(PS: Could someone please help me translate "I have been waiting for so long for this" into Na'vi and PM me? It would be really kind, I can't figure out how to say "have been". Oel yolkrr fì'uti parmey fìtxan?)

Wouldn't that just be the perfective? "have waited" "p<ol>ey"
"Have been" is the perfect, not the perfective. Those names are confusingly similar. (Some linguists have even tried changing "perfect" to make the difference clearer, but so far I don't think that's taken off.)

English perfect is used for a past event that's relevant to the moment of speaking. It's not just aspect, but also tense, present tense. In "I have been waiting for so long for this", it's not just that I waited some time in the past, but that I still am waiting.

The perfective [corrected!] is different. It indicates that we are looking at the action from the "outside", as it were, and are not interested in any internal detail. Whenever we have -ing to show an ongoing event, it would almost never be perfective. In "I had been waiting a long time when the answer came", ''came'' could be in the perfective, since it's a simple event with no internal structure.

Tslolam is "understood, got it": a simple mention of the act of understanding: "Ah! I got it!" The focus is on the event as a whole, the fact that I got it; how I got it, how long it took, are irrelevant. Tsleram on the other hand would be used for phrases like 'I came to understand it', where the how is relevant, or 'I used to understand it', where we're talking about an ongoing event.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 01:13:06 pm by roger »

Offline NeotrekkerZ

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 08:39:22 pm »
Quote
(PS: Could someone please help me translate "I have been waiting for so long for this" into Na'vi and PM me? It would be really kind, I can't figure out how to say "have been". Oel yolkrr fì'uti parmey fìtxan?)

How about this:

Oel nolew fì’ut yol ivomum.
I have wanted to know this for a long time.
Lit.  I have wanted this long time know.
Rìk oe lu hufwemì, nìn fya’ot a oe tswayon!

Offline Mirri

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2010, 09:02:02 pm »

(PS: Could someone please help me translate "I have been waiting for so long for this" into Na'vi and PM me? It would be really kind, I can't figure out how to say "have been". Oel yolkrr fì'uti parmey fìtxan?)

Wouldn't that just be the perfective? "have waited" "p<ol>ey"
"Have been" is the perfect, not the perfective. Those names are confusingly similar. (Some linguists have even tried changing "perfect" to make the difference clearer, but so far I don't think that's taken off.)

English perfect is used for a past event that's relevant to the moment of speaking. It's not just aspect, but also tense, present tense. In "I have been waiting for so long for this", it's not just that I waited some time in the past, but that I still am waiting.

I was under the impression it was a perfective since the waiting was now over. Like he said, he had been waiting a long time for this, but now he has gotten it (i.e. waiting is over). Maybe it would be more accurately phrased "I had been waiting a long time for this" (..but now I am no longer waiting)?

That'd be perfective, wouldn't it? Or do you have to mix Recent Past into that to express that he just now, a moment ago finished waiting for it?
Ngaya poanìl new mune 'uti: hrrap sì uvan. Talun poanìl new ayfoeti -- ayfo lu lehrrap ayu leuvan.

Offline roger

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 11:40:29 pm »
Quote
(PS: Could someone please help me translate "I have been waiting for so long for this" into Na'vi and PM me? It would be really kind, I can't figure out how to say "have been". Oel yolkrr fì'uti parmey fìtxan?)

How about this:

Oel nolew fì’ut yol ivomum.
I have wanted to know this for a long time.
Lit.  I have wanted this long time know.

AFAIK, you can't really say "I have been" in Na'vi. I would have:

Fì'uri, oe parmey nìyol

or along Neotrekkerz' idea,

Oel narmew fì’ut nìyol ivomum.

This can't be perfective, because it's open ended: the perfective means that the action is contained, completed, or otherwise seen as a finite event, rather than an ongoing process.

Both would be "I was waiting/wanting a long time" (past imperfective). If you want to specifically say until now, then I think you would have to drop the past and say that explicitly:

Fì'uri, oe perey nìyol vay set.

Offline roger

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 11:54:37 pm »
I was under the impression it was a perfective since the waiting was now over. Like he said, he had been waiting a long time for this, but now he has gotten it (i.e. waiting is over). Maybe it would be more accurately phrased "I had been waiting a long time for this" (..but now I am no longer waiting)?

That'd be perfective, wouldn't it? Or do you have to mix Recent Past into that to express that he just now, a moment ago finished waiting for it?
No, it would be perfective depending on how the action is viewed, not when it occurred. Aspect has nothing to do with tense. Things like "used to" are imperfective: "I would go to X every week" etc., even if it's no longer the case. When he says "so long", he's describing the internal aspect of the action, what was going on inside it. That's imperfective. Perfective is when you're looking at it from the outside, and ignoring such internal aspects.

Explaining perfective and imperfective in English is difficult, because English doesn't have these concepts. Spanish does (the "imperfect" and "preterite"), but only in the past tense. The best resource I can think of is Bernard Comrie's Aspect. That contains much more information that you'll need, but if you read the first several pages of the discussion of pfv/ipfv, which include examples from several languages, it should give you a pretty good idea.

Although there are some serious gaps, the preview on Google Books http://books.google.com/books?id=Z4FM00GAwlUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Comrie+aspect&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false gives you a decent idea (just start off on chapter 1). Unfortunately, the Intro is missing, and that is the best place to start, so it might be better if you could find the book in a bookstore maybe and read that instead, depending on how comfortable you are with grammar.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 11:56:54 pm by roger »

Offline roger

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2010, 12:23:13 am »
Comrie, Aspect, excerpts from the introduction. This should give you the background to understand the preview I linked above:

Students of Russian and other Slavonic languages are familiar with the distinction between Perfective and Imperfective aspect, as in on proĉital (Pfv.) and on ĉital (Ipfv.), both translatable into English as 'he read', although some idea of the difference can be given by translating the Imperfective as 'he was reading, he used to read'; this is only an approximate characterization [...]  In fact, the distinction between he read, he was reading, and he used to read in English is equally an aspectual distinction [...]  Similarly in the Romance languages, the difference between, for instance, French il lut and il lisait, Spanish leyó and (él) leía, Italian lesse and leggeva, is one of aspect [despite traditionally being called "tense"].

[...]

As the general definition of aspect, we may take the formulation that 'aspects are different ways of viewing the internal temporal constituency of a situation'. [Or, in the original citation, a more restricted 'different ways of conceiving the flow of the process itself', though aspect can be used for states as well as for processes.] [He illustrates:]

   English: John was reading when I entered.
   Russian: Ivan ĉital, kogda ja voŝel.
   French: Jean lisait quand j'entrai.
   Spanish: Juan leía cuando entré.
   Italian: Gianni leggeva quando entrai.

In each of these sentences, the first verb presents the background to some event, while that event itself is introduced by the second verb. The second verb presents the totality of the situation referred to (here, my entry) without reference to its internal temporal constituency: the whole of the situation is presented as a single unanalysable whole, with beginning, middle, and end all rolled into one; no attempt is made to divide this situation up into the various individual phases that make up the action of entry. Verbal forms with this meaning will be said to have perfective meaning, and where the language in question has special verbal forms to indicate this, we shall say that it has perfective aspect.

The other forms, i.e. those referring to the situation of John's reading, do not present the situation in this way, but rather make explicit reference to the internal temporal constituency of the situation. [...] reference is made to an internal portion of John's reading, while there is no explicit reference to the beginning or to the end of his reading. This is why the sentences are interpreted as meaning that my entry is an event that occurred during the period that John was reading, i.e. John's reading both preceded and followed my entry. Another way of explaining the difference between perfective and imperfective meaning is to say that the perfective looks at the situation from the outside, without necessarily distinguishing any of the internal structure of the situation, whereas the imperfective looks at the situation from inside, and as such is crucially concerned with the internal structure of the situation, since it can both look backwards towards the start of the situation, and look forwards to the end of the situation, and indeed it is equally appropriate if the situation is one that lasts through all time, without any beginning and without any end.

In discussing aspect it is important to grasp that the difference between perfectivity and imperfectivity is not necessarily an objective difference between situations, nor is it necessarily a difference that is presented by the speaker as being objective. It is quite possible for the same speaker to refer to the same situation once with a perfective form, then with an imperfective, without in any way being self-contradictory. This can be illustrated by means of sentences like John read that book yesterday; while he was reading it, the postman came, [...] The different forms of the verb 'to read' all refer to the same situation of reading. In the first clause, however, John's reading is presented as a complete event, without further subdivision into successive temporal phases; in the second clause, this event is opened up, so that the speaker is now in the middle of the situation of John's reading, and says that it was in the middle of this situation [...] that the event of the postman's arrival took place.

[From this discussion,] it will be evident that aspect is not unconnected with time, and the reader may therefore wonder whether this does not vitiate the distinction insisted on above between aspect and tense. However, although both aspect and tense are concerned with time, they are concerned with time in very different ways. As noted above, tense is a deictic category, i.e. locates situations in time, usually with reference to the present moment [...]. Aspect is not concerned with relating the time of the situation to any other time-point, but rather with the internal temporal constituency of the one situation; one could state the difference as one between situation-internal time (aspect) and situation-external time (tense). In a sentence like John was reading when I entered it might seem that different forms do serve a deictic function of locating my entry internally to John's reading, but this apparent deictic function is only a secondary consequence of the different ways in which they view the internal constituency of the situations referred to: since was reading places us internally to the reading situation, therefore naturally when we are presented with another situation given to us as a unified whole without internal constituency, this new situation is located temporally at that point in time where we already are, namely internally to John's reading. Similarly, a sequence of forms with perfective meaning will normally be taken to indicate a sequence of events, e.g. the wind tore off the roof, snapped the clothes-line, and brought down the apple-tree. Since each of the three situations is presented without regard to its internal constituency, a natural interpretation is to take them as events that occurred in succession, each one complete in itself; moreover, they will normally be taken to have occurred in the order in which they are presented in the text. However, this is by no means a necessary interpretation. It is quite possible, even if unlikely, for all three events to have been simultaneous, and this possibility can be made explicit by adding an appropriate adverbial to the sentence: the wind simultaneously ... Another possibility is that the speaker is not interested in the relative order of the three events, but is simply registering his observation of the overall result of the wind's damage, in which case he may not even know the actual order of events.

The precise differentiation of tense and aspect is particularly important in considering the perfect, e.g. English John has read the book [...] Spanish Juan ha leído el libro [... most other Romance languages have lost the perfect; it is neither precisely tense nor aspect, but has elements of both].
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 02:14:13 am by roger »

Offline Plumps

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Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2010, 03:58:46 am »
Fì'uri, oe perey nìyol vay set.

I thought vay set could only be used with a negative verb...?

Thanks for the extract for the aspect issue - could probably go in the thread "tense, aspect" - I think for people not used to that concept (including me) this will always be the hardest thing to get their heads around. So, thanks a lot to all the people who constantly try to make us understand ;)

Offline Taronyu

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Re: Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2010, 04:43:11 am »
Split. Now on topic.

Offline roger

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Re: Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2010, 05:25:02 am »
When should I use it as an adjective, and when shouldn't I? When it's directly modifying a noun like that?

Right, the attributive version is only for when you're using it with a noun, "no brain, no ikran, no etc."  I don't know if Swedish has such a construction, like English "no brain" or the German kein.

Probably ke lu oeru eltu would be fine here, too.
With kea, wouldn't it have to be ke lu oeru kea eltu ?

Offline roger

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Re: Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2010, 05:27:12 am »
Fì'uri, oe perey nìyol vay set.

I thought vay set could only be used with a negative verb...?
I think by that they mean that mean that it's translated "(not) yet" when used with a neg. With a  pos. verb, it's presumably "until now / still".

Offline Is.

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Re: Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2010, 06:30:23 am »
Quote
(PS: Could someone please help me translate "I have been waiting for so long for this" into Na'vi and PM me? It would be really kind, I can't figure out how to say "have been". Oel yolkrr fì'uti parmey fìtxan?)

How about this:

Oel nolew fì’ut yol ivomum.
I have wanted to know this for a long time.
Lit.  I have wanted this long time know.

AFAIK, you can't really say "I have been" in Na'vi. I would have:

Fì'uri, oe parmey nìyol

or along Neotrekkerz' idea,

Oel narmew fì’ut nìyol ivomum.

Cool, then I almost got it right with the <a<r>m> infix? I wasn't at all sure I was on the right track there. Thanks alot everyone for all your generous help.

roger: "With kea, wouldn't it have to be ke lu oeru kea eltu?"

I was thinking about that too. Those mysterious double negatives... "I ain't got no brain!"

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2010, 07:42:26 am »
Probably ke lu oeru eltu would be fine here, too.
With kea, wouldn't it have to be ke lu oeru kea eltu ?

It could be.  I'm not sure it's obligatory at this point.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Mirri

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Re: Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2010, 09:34:20 am »
I read the excerpt and I can't quite decide if I'm more enlightened or confused now  ???
The only conclusion I can draw from this is that no one knows what's what and linguists are still arguing over what to name things ;)

In this book (from my understanding) perfective is when you care to mention that the verb/action is complete or contained. Imperfective is when it's open-ended, or it's ongoing and you say nothing about when it started or if it'll ever end (no tense or subjunctive).

I'm still a bit confused as to why you wouldn't always need either one of these aspects on every verb? Either you're outside and don't care about the details (perfective) or you're inside and do care (imperfective). From the example "John was reading when I entered." I see how you need only mention the tense once (on the 'enter' verb). Can you clarify?


English perfect is used for a past event that's relevant to the moment of speaking. It's not just aspect, but also tense, present tense. In "I have been waiting for so long for this", it's not just that I waited some time in the past, but that I still am waiting.

The perfect is different. It indicates that we are looking at the action from the "outside", as it were, and are not interested in any internal detail. Whenever we have -ing to show an ongoing event, it would almost never be perfective. In "I had been waiting a long time when the answer came", ''came'' could be in the perfective, since it's a simple event with no internal structure.
In that last bit, you mean that the perfective is different, right? You seem to be describing the perfective, from what I gathered from the book.



Oel nolew fì’ut yol ivomum.
I have wanted to know this for a long time.
Lit.  I have wanted this long time know.
This is confusing to me. To me this translates as "I have wanted in the past (and no longer do) this-thing long-time wished-to-know." Or "In the past I wished to know this for a long time."
To me this doesn't really have that "this is also relevant now" feel to it that "perfect" does. This sounds like "3 years ago I wished to know this and 2 years ago I found out". There's no involving present here.



Quote
"I have been waiting for so long for this"
According to page 12 of the book, I'd say you're correct in characterizing the verb as "perfect", i.e. a past situation with present relevance. But Na'vi doesn't seem to have that.

Okay, so what we've got is basically a perfective (it's a finished event, the waiting is over now), but we're still.. somehow in the middle of it and interested in the internals because it's relevant now (imperfect), together making the "perfect" aspect. I'm still trying to keep "perfect" in my head as not being a self-contradictory hybrid between perfective and imperfective :P

I might be leaning towards the <arm> infix like you've suggested. The waiting started a (long time ago) in the past, but we're now (presently) interested in the internals of the waiting.

However, I was looking at the participle for this, which Na'vi does have. Would this in any way be usable? The wiki page mentions "past participle (with active voice)" as forming the "perfect aspect". In English, at least.

Perhaps we could say: Fì'u-ri oe p<am><uy>ey nìyol.

Depending on whether you're using active or passive voice (which I still haven't quite figured out what is), this could be translated as:
(active voice) This-thing-TOP I have waited long.
It's still irritatingly ambiguous in English, but that's supposedly the perfect aspect.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 09:38:52 am by Mirri »
Ngaya poanìl new mune 'uti: hrrap sì uvan. Talun poanìl new ayfoeti -- ayfo lu lehrrap ayu leuvan.

Offline roger

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Re: Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2010, 01:15:21 pm »
In that last bit, you mean that the perfective is different, right? You seem to be describing the perfective, from what I gathered from the book.
Yes, you're quite right. Corrected. Sorry 'bout that; that's one reason some linguists are trying to change the word "perfect" to "anterior"!

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Re: Have, Perfect Passive, Aspect
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2010, 01:30:05 pm »
In this book (from my understanding) perfective is when you care to mention that the verb/action is complete or contained. Imperfective is when it's open-ended, or it's ongoing and you say nothing about when it started or if it'll ever end (no tense or subjunctive).
Yes. Perfective is a single event w no detail, ipfv when there is such detail.
I'm still a bit confused as to why you wouldn't always need either one of these aspects on every verb? Either you're outside and don't care about the details (perfective) or you're inside and do care (imperfective). From the example "John was reading when I entered." I see how you need only mention the tense once (on the 'enter' verb). Can you clarify?
In Russian you do: it's either-or. You must choose. In Na'vi it's optional.
As for tense, we don't really know the details. Frommer said you don't need it once the tense is established. It might be so-called relative tense, but that's just a guess.
Oel nolew fì’ut yol ivomum.
I have wanted to know this for a long time.
Lit.  I have wanted this long time know.
This is confusing to me. To me this translates as "I have wanted in the past (and no longer do) this-thing long-time wished-to-know." Or "In the past I wished to know this for a long time."
To me this doesn't really have that "this is also relevant now" feel to it that "perfect" does. This sounds like "3 years ago I wished to know this and 2 years ago I found out". There's no involving present here.
You probably could. You can look at just about anything from a pfv or ipfv POV. Comrie gives examples of that. In general, though, I think s.t. like "used to wish to know" would tend to be impfv, whereas "found out" (an instantaneous action) would be pfv.
Okay, so what we've got is basically a perfective (it's a finished event, the waiting is over now)
Perfective is not necessarily finished. "Find out" is perfective: there's no internal detail. But it could be "He's just about to find out" -- still perfective, even though it's yet to happen. Pure aspect is independent of tense, though the perfect is an amalgam of both.
However, I was looking at the participle for this, which Na'vi does have. Would this in any way be usable? The wiki page mentions "past participle (with active voice)" as forming the "perfect aspect". In English, at least.

Perhaps we could say: Fì'u-ri oe p<am><uy>ey nìyol.

Depending on whether you're using active or passive voice (which I still haven't quite figured out what is), this could be translated as:
(active voice) This-thing-TOP I have waited long.
It's still irritatingly ambiguous in English, but that's supposedly the perfect aspect.
That's the formal form. The pcpl is -us-. But that's the -ed/-en form that you can use as an adjective: 'a dead person, a written history, a loaded truck, a hunted animal, a mistaken idea,' etc.

 

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