tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Feb 18 11:10:18 1999

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RE: jatlh

: ja' Voragh:
: >This trips up many beginners, for whom TKD is usually the only resource
: >have.  Okrand deliberately made this feature counter-intuitive, or at least
: >different, from the way quoted speech works in many Terran languages.  You
: >expect the quotation to be the direct object of {jatlh}, so he decided that
: >it wouldn't be, by Kahless!  
: Say what?  Quotations aren't direct objects in English...are they?

Are you sure?  As I understand it, even linguists of English are of two
minds about this question.  How can you tell for certain?  English objects
aren't clearly marked with case endings as they are in Latin, Russian, etc.
 My interpretation:
: "I need a hammer," the doctor told his assistant.
   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^                   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
		direct object								indirect object

If you simplify the sentence, you can see the structure better:  "The
doctor told it TO him."

: Our cook asked the shopkeeper, "Is the fruit fresh?"
                 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
							ind. object			direct object

Again simplifying: "Our cook asked it OF him."

: It sure looks like Klingon works a lot like English does, at least
: with the verbs "tell" and "ask".
: -- ghunchu'wI'

Does it indeed?  What's the direct object of "ask"?  The question being
asked ("I ask a question") or the person being asked ("I ask him")?  If you
drop one element, each version *seems* to make perfect sense as a direct

	Our cook asked the shopkeeper.
	Our cook asked, "Is the fruit fresh?"

I've always felt that "ask" works like "say, tell" etc.: "say TO him, tell
TO her, ask OF them" - all grammatical indirect objects, if admittedly
wordy and redundant.
: Actually, once even a few of us were convinced of the way TKD actually
: explained it, the correct explanation was quite quickly understood by
: all on this list.  The "later clarification" didn't really "clarify"
: anything, it just confirmed what TKD had said all along.

Which doesn't much help the novice Klingonists who have just bought TKD and
recently learned of this list, does it?  Do you really believe that they'll
actually go to the KLI archive and read all seven plus (?) years worth of
archived posts before they de-lurk?  I doubt it.  I didn't.

And that's why they keep asking the same questions of our duty BG.  Like
the one that started this discussion.

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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