tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Dec 09 11:16:19 1999

Back to archive top level

To this year's listing

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: jang. ja' <blah, blah, blah>

On Thu, 9 Dec 1999 18:48:38 +-300 Carleton Copeland 
<> wrote:

> ja' DloraH:
> > ... after TKD we have the interview in HolQeD 28
> > (Dec 98) p7 "He asked me. He said, 'blah, blah, blah.'"
> jIja':
> > DloraH's "jang. ja' <blah, blah, blah>" construction seems
> > to be the accepted wisdom these days. Is ghunchu'wI'
> > casting doubt on this ('e' vItulbej)? I've written some
> > brief verses with dialogue, and the forced repetition
> > of *ja'* is getting awfully monotonous.
> ghIq pagh QInvam vItu':
> > When I say <jang vay':> in a message, I don't mean
> > "Someone answered the following", I just mean
> > "someone answered". I've also used quote lines like
> > <mu' <veb> qel charghwI', ghunchu'wI' je:> or <ghoH
> > DoghwI'pu':>. The point of the sentence is *NOT*
> > that the quote is its object; it just describes the quote
> > that follows and (most importantly) attributes it to
> > whoever wrote it in the first place.
That's an interesting interpretation. It doesn't have anything 
to do with what Okrand told me during our interview, but I can 
see how you arrived at that conclusion. The point I think pagh 
misses here is that while there is no grammatical link between 
the quotation and the verb of speech, there is a formal 
convention where there is always a verb of speech, almost 
exclusively {ja'} or {jatlh} which appears before or after any 
direct quote. Other verbs describing the type of speech may 
accompany that verb of speech as a separate sentence (we might 
punctuate with a semicolon) to add a description of what style 
of speech was occurring.

Meanwhile, just because, in English, you like to use different 
verbs of speech while describing lengthy dialog and you may 
think that this is, in English, a good style point, that is all 
meaningless when you are using direct quotes in Klingon.

We may choose to use all kinds of notation with colons or 
whatever else while we write to this list, much like play 
scripts do, where there is only some form of identification of 
who is speaking what, but no speaking verb whatsoever, or we can 
do all kinds of other things here WHICH HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH 
declare that in ta' Hol, when you are quoting what someone else 
has said, you can use other verbs besides {ja'} or {jatlh} and 
have any certainty whatsoever that you are speaking Klingon well.
> toH!  Then "jIjang: <blah, blah, blah>" works as well as "jIjang. jIja' 
> <blah, blah, blah>"? What a relief! And is "<blah, blah, blah> jIjang" 
> kosher too?

Neither one is kosher. You can do it, but it won't be right. 
Some may complain, but you can ignore them, or nobody may 
complain, but it still won't be right. The only way to know that 
you are speaking Klingon quotations correctly is to use the 
verbs {ja'} or {jatlh}. Okrand has made this quite clear in that 
interview. While interviewing him, I was suprised by this 
statement and I wanted to open up any door for exceptions, but 
with body language and vocal inflection and everything else, 
Okrand made it clear that, while he had previously published a 
few exceptions to what he now wanted to be a rule, he definitely 
favored the use of only two verbs (leaving himself wiggle room 
to change his mind later) for this purpose.

> qa'ral


Back to archive top level