"saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

A forum for translations, translation challenges etc. Good place to increase your conlang's vocabulary.
Post Reply
User avatar
Imralu
greek
greek
Posts: 843
Joined: 17 Nov 2013 22:32

"saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Imralu » 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)
________
MY MUSIC

User avatar
Creyeditor
mongolian
mongolian
Posts: 4493
Joined: 14 Aug 2012 18:32

Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Creyeditor » 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.
Creyeditor
"Thoughts are free."
Produce, Analyze, Manipulate
1 :deu: 2 :eng: 3 :idn: 4 :fra: 4 :esp:
:con: Ook & Omlűt & Nautli languages & Sperenjas
[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]

User avatar
Reyzadren
sinic
sinic
Posts: 348
Joined: 14 May 2017 09:39
Contact:

Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Reyzadren » 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.
Image Soundcloud Profile | Image griuskant conlang

User avatar
Imralu
greek
greek
Posts: 843
Joined: 17 Nov 2013 22:32

Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Imralu » 23 Apr 2018 00:32

Creyeditor wrote:
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)
________
MY MUSIC

User avatar
Creyeditor
mongolian
mongolian
Posts: 4493
Joined: 14 Aug 2012 18:32

Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Creyeditor » 23 Apr 2018 10:09

Imralu wrote:
23 Apr 2018 00:32
Creyeditor wrote:
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.
Creyeditor
"Thoughts are free."
Produce, Analyze, Manipulate
1 :deu: 2 :eng: 3 :idn: 4 :fra: 4 :esp:
:con: Ook & Omlűt & Nautli languages & Sperenjas
[<3] Papuan languages, Morphophonology, Lexical Semantics [<3]

User avatar
Fluffy8x
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 88
Joined: 28 Apr 2014 05:38
Contact:

Re: "saw him kill" vs "saw him killing"

Post by Fluffy8x » 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

Post Reply