"saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

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Imralu
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"saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Imralu » Sun 22 Apr 2018, 14:25

An aspectual difference in English which I can't really find good equivalents for in other languages I know. I assume Slavic languages distinguish this lexically and there may be other cool things in natlangs I don't know or in your conlangs.

:eng: (1) I saw him kill a spider.
:eng: (2) I saw him killing a spider.

(1) is perfective, implying witnessing the whole event.
(2) is imperfective, meaning I possibly saw him in the middle of slowly killing a spider and didn't continue watching.

:tan: Swahili
(1&2 ... as far as I'm aware.)

Nilimwona akimuua buibui.
ni-li-mw-on(a) a-ki-mu-u(a) buibui
1S-PST-3S.OBJ-see 3S-SITUATIONAL-3S.OBJ-kill spider(CL9)
I saw him kill(ing) a spider.
Glossing Abbreviations: COMP = comparative, C = complementiser, ACS / ICS = accessible / inaccessible, GDV = gerundive, SPEC / NSPC = specific / non-specific, AG = agent, E = entity (person, animal, thing)
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Creyeditor
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Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Creyeditor » Sun 22 Apr 2018, 15:41

I think this difference can be conveyed in German by using a different conjunction:

(1) Ich hab gesehen, wie er eine Spinne getötet hat.
ich hab ge-sehen-en, wie er ein-e Spinne ge-töt-et ha-t
1SG.NOM have.AUX.1SG.PRS PTCP.PST-see-PTCP.PST like 3SG.NOM INDEF.F.NOM spider PTCP-kill-PTCP have.AUX.3SG.PTCP
`I saw him, as he killed a spider.'

(2) Ich hab ihn gesehen, als er eine Spinne getötet hat.
ich hab ihn ge-sehen-en, wie er ein-e Spinne ge-töt-et ha-t
1SG.NOM have.AUX.1SG.PRS 3SG.ACC PTCP.PST-see-PTCP.PST like 3SG.NOM INDEF.F.NOM spider PTCP-kill-PTCP have.AUX.3SG.PTCP
`I saw him, as he was killing a spider.'

I am not 100% sure if it's the same difference as in English though.
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Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Reyzadren » Sun 22 Apr 2018, 22:48

:con: griuskant (without the conscript)

aesk jiska raes saerpa piangk
/'esk 'dʒiska 'res 'serpa 'piaŋk/
1SG see-V 3SG kill-V "spider"
I saw him kill a spider.

aesk jiska raes oth saerpa piangk
/'esk 'dʒiska 'res 'ɔθ 'serpa 'piaŋk/
1SG see-V 3SG still kill-V "spider"
I saw him killing a spider, and he's still killing it.
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Imralu
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Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Imralu » Mon 23 Apr 2018, 00:32

Creyeditor wrote:
Sun 22 Apr 2018, 15:41
I am not 100% sure if it's the same difference as in English though.
Hmm, I'm not sure either, but if you change the als to während, even if it's not really a normal thing to say, it'd make it more explicitly imperfective, wouldn't it?
Glossing Abbreviations: COMP = comparative, C = complementiser, ACS / ICS = accessible / inaccessible, GDV = gerundive, SPEC / NSPC = specific / non-specific, AG = agent, E = entity (person, animal, thing)
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Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 23 Apr 2018, 10:09

Imralu wrote:
Mon 23 Apr 2018, 00:32
Creyeditor wrote:
Sun 22 Apr 2018, 15:41
I am not 100% sure if it's the same difference as in English though.
Hmm, I'm not sure either, but if you change the als to während, even if it's not really a normal thing to say, it'd make it more explicitly imperfective, wouldn't it?
True, but I thougt about it this way: If someone asks: "What is John doing? Have you seen him?" and you answer the German (1) people would assume that he is now doing something else. If you answer (2) they might assume that he is still killing that spider. Answering your version using 'während' sounds a bit strange. I find it difficult to tell what people would assume.
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Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Fluffy8x » Fri 11 May 2018, 03:24

:con: Ḋraħýl Rase

1. Hawma nûnelrakâṡ atun pana.
spider kill-3ANM-PAST-REL.NONRESTRICTIVE person-ACC see-1
(Sequence of tenses is a bit wonky in this language.)

2. Hawma nûnelkerakâṡ atun pana.
spider kill-3ANM-PROG-PAST-REL.NONRESTRICTIVE person-ACC see-1
an siina levian t'isorakateez
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