tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Feb 17 08:15:44 1999

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RE: jatlh

jatlh qonwI':

> Just my humble opinion... I'm not a grammarian or anything. ;-)

When the grammar we know about something is vague or undefined, it is a
matter of opinion. When the grammar we know is well defined, as it is here,
it becomes a matter of fact.

>>{pagh Dajatlh}
>>"You speak nothing." (= you don't speak any languages)

> I'm not sure if you can extrapolate that from 'speaking nothing'. 
> I agree that in 'speaking a language' the verb speak / {jatlh} is
> transitive. I'd be more inclined to make it explicit.

> {pagh Holmey Dajatlh.}

Given the right context - talking about langauges - <pagh Dajatlh> would be

>>{pagh Dajatlh}
>>"You say nothing." (= you are being silent)

> [nothing] - [you say it]. Fair enough.
This is "You say nothing." It is not "You say 'nothing'."

>>{pagh bIjatlh}
>>"You say PAGH." (= You said our BG's name)
>>"You say NOTHING" (= You say the word "nothing")

> We have the same problem in Terran languages, too. ;-) But, I don't 
> see how you can use a null-object prefix here, because there IS an 
> object - what is being said! 

The quotation is *NOT* the object of the verb <jatlh>. It's just not. We
have known this for a long time, and got very specific confirmation of it
recently. I don't remember whether it was charghwI''s interview with Marc
Okrand in the last HolQeD or a post to startrek.klingon, but Okrand has
*specifically* described how quotes work, and has said that the quotation is
*NOT* the object of the verb. The verb can have an object (e.g. <matlh vIja'
<jIghung>> - "I told matlh "I am hungry"".), and the quote can go before or
after the main part of the sentence.

> The routes you have here, to *me*, seem to be:

> {bIjatlhlaHbe'}         You are incapable of speaking.
>                         i.e. You don't speak any languages.
This does not follow. If I hear <bIjatlhlaHbe'>, I imagine someone with

> {pagh Dajatlh}          You said nothing / are being silent.

> {*pagh* Dajatlh}        You said "pagh" (whatever its meaning).
mujchu'qu'. lughbej <pagh bIjatlh>. 

> {bIjatlh!}              You are speaking!

>*{pagh bIjatlh}         (meaningless? verb with bad prefix?)

>{bIjatlhHa'}            You are saying nothing / are being silent.
Actually, <jatlhHa'> means "misspeak". One of Okrand's examples for <-Ha'>
in TKD is <bIjatlhHa'chugh> - "if you say the wrong thing". What you want is
<bIjatlhbe'> or <bIjatlhbe'taH>.

>{*nothing* Dajatlh}     You said "nothing".
"Nothing" bIjatlh.

> Just my views, as I said. If charghwI', pagh or anyone else charges 
> up with an explanation, take their views first. :-)

Beginners' Grammarian

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