Yceryru Kebri*

Questions or discussions about Almea or Verduria-- also the Incatena. Also good for postings in Almean languages.
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Yceryru Kebri*

Post by butsuri »

(or should it be iceriri Kebri? Or possibly Kebri yceryru? Assuming the volitional can even be used that way.)

Anyway, I find Kebreni an interesting language, and I want to know more about the country. We know certain things from the historical atlas*; they fought certain wars; they're Verduria's chief rival for overseas trade and have a number of colonies; there's an Eledhe patriarchate of Kebropol; they drink their coffee black. From the old board we know that the native religion is a Shinto-like animism. A little more can be inferred from the lexicon and grammatical examples. But there's very little information on the nature of contemporary Kebreni government and society - the last information on the internal organization of the Monkhayic states predates the founding of Davrio.

So, I request a brief description of the government, economy and social organization of Kebri.

* I went through it agan to check; if it's ever under redesign, a search option would be useful.

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by zompist »

butsuri wrote:(or should it be iceriri Kebri? Or possibly Kebri yceryru? Assuming the volitional can even be used that way.)


Assuming you mean "I (or someone) want to know Kebri", that's correct... at least, that's what Philip's conjugation utility says.

I'll try to answer your question in more detail later... I need to finally add some pages to the site first!
Last edited by zompist on Tue Oct 01, 2002 11:20 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by Iscun »

zompist wrote:
butsuri wrote:I'll try to answer your question in more detail later... I need to finally add some pages to the site first!


:o

Could it be...The Count of Years!? *crosses fingers*

Anyway, yeah, Kebri is a rather interesting place. Geographically and militarily it's similar to England, religiously it's like Japan, and Linguistically it's like Finland. Quite a mix there.

This may or may not be off-topic, but there is an itty-bitty little island between Flora and Kebri that appears to be its own independent state called Koto. At one point its language was Kebreni, but then changed to an Eastern tongue. What is its language like, and is it heavily influenced by Kebreni?

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by butsuri »

Iscun wrote:Anyway, yeah, Kebri is a rather interesting place. Geographically and
militarily it's similar to England, religiously it's like Japan,

Geographically not unlike Japan either, as they're all islands off the edge of a large landmass. But since Kebri's in the southern hemisphere, it's closer to the equator than most of eastern Erel?e. It's latitude's more like north Africa, or somewhere between Kyuushuu and Okinawa.

Iscun wrote:and Linguistically it's like Finland. Quite a mix there.

With Monkhayu as Hungary?

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by Iscun »

butsuri wrote:Geographically not unlike Japan either, as they're all islands off the edge of a large landmass. But since Kebri's in the southern hemisphere, it's closer to the equator than most of eastern Erel?e. It's latitude's more like north Africa, or somewhere between Kyuushuu and Okinawa.


Well, I was thinking that it's like England because Erel?e is the "Europe" of Almea, and Kebri is a fairly large island off the coast. But you're right too. :D

With Monkhayu as Hungary?


Yeah, that's what I was thinking.

I wonder if, elsewhere on the planet, there is a "Basque" of Almea.

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by eodrakken »

H'em h'ilu Kebri eh'c Kebreni.

Yceryru bihate: Kebrene kruh'i Mihel, eh'c z'ada kum Kebreni cih'cu Eledh. As'eve?

Lerurih'a h'em?

p.s. Agenu! H'em vekru "lore-linna" z'ada. ;>

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by zompist »

eodrakken wrote:H'em h'ilu Kebri eh'c Kebreni.

Yceryru bihate: Kebrene kruh'i Mihel, eh'c z'ada kum Kebreni cih'cu Eledh. As'eve?

Lerurih'a h'em?

p.s. Agenu! H'em vekru "lore-linna" z'ada. ;>


Very nice! It's way too late at night to attempt a reply in Kebreni. I don't think even Philip has written me in Kebreni! (Though of course he worked hard on that conjugation utility!)

Kebri is about 20% Eledhe; the brief answer as to why is that it's a fairly open society, very interested in what happens in the other littoral states; and Eledh?t is a universalist, proselytizing religion. About 5% of Kebreni are Irreanists, as well. And despite the unpleasantness over Mihel, Eledh?t has never had the connotation of being "Cadhinorian", a taint which prevented the Kebreni from ever adopting Cadhinorian paganism.

As you can imagine, Kebri and ?renat have a sort of love-hate relationship going, disliking each other and yet fascinated with each other. The rivalry with Verduria was "just business"; this is more deeply felt. However, feelings aren't identical on both sides. ?renat, after all, was once ruled by Kebri, but Kebri was never ruled by ?renat. This allows the Kebreni to be rather more open to things from ?renat than vice versa.

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by zompist »

Iscun wrote:
zompist wrote:
butsuri wrote:I'll try to answer your question in more detail later... I need to finally add some pages to the site first!


Could it be...The Count of Years!? *crosses fingers*


As you can see, not yet, sorry. :)

I'm actually very close to having the Elkar?l ready for posting... mostly I want to add some more words.

The Count of Years is... oh lord... over 70 pages now. I'm planning to post it in stages, as I did the Historical Atlas.

Iscun wrote:This may or may not be off-topic, but there is an itty-bitty little island between Flora and Kebri that appears to be its own independent state called Koto. At one point its language was Kebreni, but then changed to an Eastern tongue. What is its language like, and is it heavily influenced by Kebreni?


Man, Koto has a checkered past... so long as we're making comparisons, it seems to be the Sicily of Almea.

The first men to occupy it were Methaiun from Davur (c. -270); it was taken over around 850 by Kaino (which spoke a sister-language to Cadhinor); the Cadhinorians ruled it from around 1700; Kebri picked it up around 2200, it became independent c. 3170, and fell under Verdurian domination from 3285.

You can expect linguistic influences from all these periods. Under Kebreni rule, it spoke an aberrant Kebreni dialect (arguably an independent derivation from ancient Methaiun, but approaching Kebreni in its learned registers); this language is still used for some official and religious purposes. The official language is Verdurian; the actual spoken language is a somewhat creolized form, with a good deal of Kebreni and Isma?n influence.

Not untypical is the name of its second city, Tencer, made from the Kebreni plus the Verdurian words for 'port'. (Cuni is 'falcon' in Kebreni; the name of the island is 'snail' in Methaiun.)

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by pne »

zompist wrote:I don't think even Philip has written me in Kebreni!

Nope -- except for the "I love you" post, which you later corrected the vocabulary in (though I think you got the conjugation a little wrong). Kebreni is pretty different and I never tried to compose any text :)

(By the way, here is the link that Mark Rosenfelder tried to post: Philip's conjugation utility)
[i]Esli epei eto cumprenan, shris soa Sfaha.[/i]
[i]e'osai ko sarji la lojban[/i]
[img]http://shavian.org/verdurian/images/mizinamo.png[/img]

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by eodrakken »

I wrote:H'em h'ilu Kebri eh'c Kebreni.


Obeka. ;> I meant to say "H'em z'e h'ilu Kebri eh'c Kebreni". And maybe it should have been "...Kebri Kebrenai."

zompist wrote:Very nice! It's way too late at night to attempt a reply in Kebreni. I don't think even Philip has written me in Kebreni! (Though of course he worked hard on that conjugation utility!)


Thanks! I did use the conjugation utility to check my work, so I think the verbs are right. The main thing I wondered about was how to use the adverbs. The grammar explains about adverbs in -te, but not the ones like "z'ada" and "z'e". In English, you can put an adverb any old place. How does it work in Kebreni?

I probably used too many pronouns, but I wasn't sure what constituted an otherwise ambiguous statement.

zompist wrote:Kebri is about 20% Eledhe; the brief answer as to why is that it's a fairly open society[...] <snip>


Nirize. (Does that work for saying "thank you"? To give thanks for an action instead of an explanation, you could say "Sire".)

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by butsuri »

zompist wrote:
butsuri wrote:(or should it be iceriri Kebri? Or possibly Kebri yceryru? Assuming the volitional can even be used that way.)


Assuming you mean "I (or someone) want to know Kebri", that's correct... at least, that's what Philip's conjugation utility says.


Good... is there any way to reflect the distinction between "to know something" and "to know about something" in Kebreni? Anyway, I have more questions, but I'm going to see if I can phrase them in Kebreni. I suspect this will be difficult with the current lexicon, though.

(I used the conjugation utility too. I started out to do it myself, but I wasn't sure what to do when the rules say to voice a consonant, and there's no voiced version (the answer is apparently that it stays the same).)

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by zompist »

eodrakken wrote:Obeka. ;> I meant to say "H'em z'e h'ilu Kebri eh'c Kebreni". And maybe it should have been "...Kebri Kebrenai."


Hmm... this is another one of those subtle semantic differences:

H'ilu Kebri eh'c kebren nizgu. I like Kebri and I like the Kebreni language (as two separate things).
H'ilu Kebri kebrenai. I like Kebri-and-Kebreni (and I see them as an inseparable unit).

eodrakken wrote:The main thing I wondered about was how to use the adverbs. The grammar explains about adverbs in -te, but not the ones like "z'ada" and "z'e". In English, you can put an adverb any old place. How does it work in Kebreni?


The adverb normally goes before the verb. If it can't be confused with an adjective modifying the following object, then it can go after.

eodrakken wrote:I probably used too many pronouns, but I wasn't sure what constituted an otherwise ambiguous statement.


Yeah... in your original message you probably didn't need any of the pronouns. But as corrected (H'em z'e...) you need the pronoun so there's something for z'e to modify.

eodrakken wrote:Nirize. (Does that work for saying "thank you"? To give thanks for an action instead of an explanation, you could say "Sire".)


Hey, I like those!

(For anyone who's not quite following along, those mean roughly "You (polite) have spoken to my benefit" and "...acted for my benefit".)

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Post by butsuri »

Ah, I've been trying to construct a tree diagram of Kebreni verb conjugation, and it looks like the grammar and the conjugation utility appear to disagree over whether there is, in principle, such a thing as a polite subordinate form.

Phillip Newton wrote:"polite" and "subordinate" are mutually exclusive, so I put them in the same radio button group (it's not the verb that's polite; it's the interchange or situation, so with subordinate verbs the main verbs gets marked +polite)


But the grammar only says

Mark Rosenfelder wrote:Note that volitional, politeness, and aspect inflections normally apply only to the main verb.

[my emphasis]

Now, to me, that "normally" implies that the polite subordinate is a valid construction, if rarely used. On the other hand, they aren't included in the grammar conjugation table. On the third hand, the instructions with the table say "[...]then (if there's no suppletive form) the polite -ri-, then the subordinating -te.", which makes little sense if the polite and subordinate are mutually exclusive.

This means the difference between there being 80 (verbal) conjugations of the Kebreni verb and there being only 60, so I'd like to clear it up if at all possible. (Only 41 or so would actually be in common use, but I want a complete diagram.)

[edit: I'd left out the volitional, so I had to double the numbers]

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by Iscun »

zompist wrote:As you can see, not yet, sorry. :)

I'm actually very close to having the Elkar?l ready for posting... mostly I want to add some more words.

The Count of Years is... oh lord... over 70 pages now. I'm planning to post it in stages, as I did the Historical Atlas.


So, not to be a pest, how long until we get to see the first chapter of the Count of Years? I mean, if you're posting it in stages, then the first stage is surely done. :)

It's also great to hear about Elkar?l. The first non-human language is almost ready! Though, I still don't understand how all Elkari languages are related, and how they all have the same religion (even the ones on Palthuknen? :D ).

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by eodrakken »

zompist wrote:H'ilu Kebri eh'c kebren nizgu. I like Kebri and I like the Kebreni language (as two separate things).
H'ilu Kebri kebrenai. I like Kebri-and-Kebreni (and I see them as an inseparable unit).


Kind of a Sapir-Whorf issue, isn't it? ;>

zompist wrote:The adverb normally goes before the verb. If it can't be confused with an adjective modifying the following object, then it can go after.


Okay, so the unmarked order is:

Kum Kebreni z'ada cih'cu Eledh.

zompist wrote:Yeah... in your original message you probably didn't need any of the pronouns. But as corrected (H'em z'e...) you need the pronoun so there's something for z'e to modify.


That answers my other question. Z'e can modify nouns as well as verbs, so that there is a difference between "I, too, like Kebri" and "Also, I like Kebri".

zompist wrote:
eodrakken wrote:Nirize. (Does that work for saying "thank you"? To give thanks for an action instead of an explanation, you could say "Sire".)


Hey, I like those!


Cool. :> It would be neat to have a section on common Kebreni phrases, salutations, and whatnot. Also useful, since apparently at least a couple of people are interested in trying to speak the language. Of course, it sounds like you already have a lot on your plate right now. If you don't have the time, I'm sure Butsuri and I can figure out how to express ourselves. ;>

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Post by zompist »

butsuri wrote:Ah, I've been trying to construct a tree diagram of Kebreni verb conjugation, and it looks like the grammar and the conjugation utility appear to disagree over whether there is, in principle, such a thing as a polite subordinate form. ...


I told Philip that a polite subordinate form didn't really make sense, since politeness is indicated on the main verb.

Languages and grammarians being as they are, I'm sure there's some odd attestations and some odd grammarians who try to think of a reason for them. Grammarians like to know to answer to questions like "If there were a polite subordinate form, would the -ri- come before or after the -te?

But they're pedants. I'd leave it out of your list.

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by zompist »

Iscun wrote:So, not to be a pest, how long until we get to see the first chapter of the Count of Years? I mean, if you're posting it in stages, then the first stage is surely done. :)


Heh... surely you know enough about authors to know that nothing's done till it's out the door? :)

It's written, and has even been re-read a couple times. But I need to go over it again, add a commentary, and add some poetry. Surely you don't want to see it without the poetry!

However, part of the idea of posting it in stages is that I don't have to finish the whole thing first. So... Real Soon Now.

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Post by Ihano »

zompist wrote:
butsuri wrote:Ah, I've been trying to construct a tree diagram of Kebreni verb conjugation, and it looks like the grammar and the conjugation utility appear to disagree over whether there is, in principle, such a thing as a polite subordinate form. ...


I told Philip that a polite subordinate form didn't really make sense, since politeness is indicated on the main verb.


Aha -- more similarity with Japanese than you might think!

I was always told in my Japanese grammars that, as a rule, you only put the polite form on the main (=final) verb. After all, like Kebreni, it's redundant and adds nothing. Makes very good sense, and in literary Japanese and normal polite Japanese, it's generally held to.

But that doesn't stop me from seeing subordinating verbs put into the -masu form from time to time. It's most common in politer, keigo-bearing speech (although even then not used in every case). I idly speculate it's to prevent a kind of lexical shame over being grammatically forced to use an informal form when you're trying to be polite.

It could also be an older form; the big one-verb-per-page verb conjugation book (rather less suited to Japanese than IE languages, if you ask me) mentions, for example, "formal gerunds," like "shimashite" for "shite."

So I try not to be surprised when I see stuff like "Atama ga itai desu node..."
So voy sur so?n otr?n cot?n ci-min?i e fsiy.

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Mistakes

Post by eodrakken »

Ihano wrote:I idly speculate it's to prevent a kind of lexical shame over being grammatically forced to use an informal form when you're trying to be polite.


In my conlangs, I try to consider what mistakes native speakers might make; it adds realism. Also, if you're trying to do language change, common mistakes are one contributing factor to it, as much as educated folks might fight against them at the time. Confusion can encourage analogy and regularisation as well as complication. It's a useful tool, either direction you want to take the language.

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by Raphael »

zompist wrote:The Count of Years is... oh lord... over 70 pages now. I'm planning to post it in stages, as I did the Historical Atlas.


Seventy pages allthough you've got almost all parts of it by now? Err, it's not that I would want to say something bad about your work, but I mean, the Count of Years is apparently the Almean equivalent of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament has many more than seventy pages, after all!

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Post by butsuri »

zompist wrote:
butsuri wrote:Ah, I've been trying to construct a tree diagram of Kebreni verb conjugation, and it looks like the grammar and the conjugation utility appear to disagree over whether there is, in principle, such a thing as a polite subordinate form. ...


I told Philip that a polite subordinate form didn't really make sense, since politeness is indicated on the main verb.

Languages and grammarians being as they are, I'm sure there's some odd attestations and some odd grammarians who try to think of a reason for them. Grammarians like to know to answer to questions like "If there were a polite subordinate form, would the -ri- come before or after the -te?

But they're pedants. I'd leave it out of your list.


Well, they're on there now. I'll just mark them with an asterisk.

For those who are interested, the 20 polite subordinate forms (of nizu) are as follows. (Order is neutral-benefactive-antibenefactive, then all changes applied in order, with the unmarked case given first.)

niryuste (perfective+polite+subordinate)
nuriiste
ineryaste
inurieste
neriiste
neniriiste
nerieste
ninirieste
eneriiste
eneniriiste
enirieste
eninirieste
nyriaste
nyniriaste
nariyste
naniriyste
yneriaste
yneniriaste
ynarieste
ynanirieste (antibenefactive-to-listener+volitional+perfective+polite+subordinate)

At least, that's how I made them out. The conjugation utility seems to agree with me on all the other form I've checked, although it doesn't give them in quite the same order, so I didn't check all 60.

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Re: Yceryru Kebri*

Post by zompist »

Raphael wrote:
zompist wrote:The Count of Years is... oh lord... over 70 pages now. I'm planning to post it in stages, as I did the Historical Atlas.


Seventy pages allthough you've got almost all parts of it by now? Err, it's not that I would want to say something bad about your work, but I mean, the Count of Years is apparently the Almean equivalent of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament has many more than seventy pages, after all!


You haven't memorized enough of my site! :) The Count of Years
is only the first part of the Book of Eledh. It's more like the Torah minus the Law.

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Post by butsuri »

A few more points on the Kebreni online grammar and lexicon:

on the formation of the subordinating form:
Mark Rosenfelder wrote:The subordinating form is used when there is another verb in the sentence. It's formed by moving the final vowel of the verb before the final consonant and adding -te. A labial stop becomes dental (m --> n, b --> d, p --> t) before the -te, and a voiced stop becomes unvoiced (z --> s, b --> p, etc.).


Suggest that "voiced stop" be changed to "voiced consonant" or "voiced stop or fricative". Also, "b-->p" and "b-->d" are odd examples, given that the actual change is "b-->t" (at least, this is what the conjugation utility does).

On Kebreni grammatical terms: in a post on the old forum, you say
Mark Rosenfelder wrote:To refer to a class of verb forms, use the characteristic vowel or affix plus nezi 'word(s)': a-nezi, antibenefactive forms in general; e-nezi, volitional forms; ri-nezi, polite forms; te-nezi, subordinate forms, etc. (See nezi in the lexicon.)

I like this system (used together with the conjugated forms of nizu) but there are a couple of problems. 1 Nezi isn't in the lexicon (not a big problem). 2 How do you refer to the perfective form, which doesn't have a characteristic vowel or affix - it's formed by swapping the vowels in the root?

Staying with the perfective - if you look here, it seems to me that the Kebreni perfective is more of a perfect than a perfective aspect (it's similar to the English "to have verbed" but uncoupled from tense, yes?). Describing this kind of aspect is certainly an attested use of the word "perfective", but it's ambiguous. You probably won't want to go through the grammar changing every incidence to "perfect", particularly as it's not exactly wrong, so I'd rather have a native term to use.

What's the general Kebreni term for "a verbal conjugation", anyway?

Since I've been kind of critical here, I'd just like to say how much I like eodrakken's use of Nirize and Sire for "thank you". I'm tempted to create a benefactive construction in my own conlang just so that I can use an equivalent. Now I'm going to go see if I can produce some valid sentences.

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Post by zompist »

butsuri wrote:
Mark Rosenfelder wrote:The subordinating form is used when there is another verb in the sentence. It's formed by moving the final vowel of the verb before the final consonant and adding -te. A labial stop becomes dental (m --> n, b --> d, p --> t) before the -te, and a voiced stop becomes unvoiced (z --> s, b --> p, etc.).


Suggest that "voiced stop" be changed to "voiced consonant" or "voiced stop or fricative". Also, "b-->p" and "b-->d" are odd examples, given that the actual change is "b-->t" (at least, this is what the conjugation utility does).


You're right. The first rule feeds the second. I've restated it.

butsuri wrote:I like this system (used together with the conjugated forms of nizu) but there are a couple of problems. 1 Nezi isn't in the lexicon (not a big problem). 2 How do you refer to the perfective form, which doesn't have a characteristic vowel or affix - it's formed by swapping the vowels in the root?


Oops, I changed that in my copy and didn't upload it. Well, I took the opportunity to update the lexicon with a number of new words that have come along (including a greeting: Kum kadrigu!).

You can use nuzu for the perfective in general.

butsuri wrote:Staying with the perfective - if you look here, it seems to me that the Kebreni perfective is more of a perfect than a perfective aspect (it's similar to the English "to have verbed" but uncoupled from tense, yes?). Describing this kind of aspect is certainly an attested use of the word "perfective", but it's ambiguous. You probably won't want to go through the grammar changing every incidence to "perfect", particularly as it's not exactly wrong, so I'd rather have a native term to use.


Actually it's exactly in line with David Crystal's definitions:

perfect - A tense form typically referrring to a past action that has present relevance
perfective - A verb aspect typically stressing the completion of an action

In fact Rick's remarks with "perfect" accord with Crystal's definition: "Instead, it indicates the continuing relevance of a past situation." I find Rick's remarks on "perfective" a bit mysterious.

butsuri wrote:What's the general Kebreni term for "a verbal conjugation", anyway?


I think neze will do for this.

Egenirigi,
--zompist

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Post by butsuri »

zompist wrote:
butsuri wrote:Staying with the perfective - if you look here, it seems to me that the Kebreni perfective is more of a perfect than a perfective aspect (it's similar to the English "to have verbed" but uncoupled from tense, yes?). Describing this kind of aspect is certainly an attested use of the word "perfective", but it's ambiguous. You probably won't want to go through the grammar changing every incidence to "perfect", particularly as it's not exactly wrong, so I'd rather have a native term to use.


Actually it's exactly in line with David Crystal's definitions:

perfect - A tense form typically referrring to a past action that has present relevance
perfective - A verb aspect typically stressing the completion of an action

In fact Rick's remarks with "perfect" accord with Crystal's definition: "Instead, it indicates the continuing relevance of a past situation." I find Rick's remarks on "perfective" a bit mysterious.


Well, I've been looking around, and there seems to be a support for both definitions.

The SIL glossary agrees with Rick (and more to the point with Comrie, which they both cite as a source), as does xrefer(quoting the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics)

The New Oxford Dictionary of English agrees with Crystal, and notes the use of the term in Slavic languages. Dictionary.com does too.

Thinking about these, I can actually see how they're almost the same thing - if an action's incomplete, it must be going on, and therefore can't be viewed as a single event. The defenitions seem quite different, but it's actually not easy to find a situation where one applies but not the other. It depends in part on how "completion" is defined. Possibly the nuzu can be considered as either - I'd need to know more about its semantics.

[edit: I'll admit, though, that it probably isn't well described as a perfect.]

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