tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Feb 20 13:54:22 1999

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RE: jatlh

ja' Voragh:
>: 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 have no reason to think the second one is treating the question as an
object even in English.  In Klingon, I'm *sure* it's not an object, since
the {vaS'a'} joke puts the quoted question *after* the {lutlhob} sentence.

You could substitute "a question" for "the shopkeeper" in the English.

  Our cook asked a question, "Is the fruit fresh?"

I can't see the quotation here as a direct object at all.

That's why Klingon has two different verbs for "ask": {tlhob} and {ghel}.
The {vaS'a'} joke seems to indicate that {tlhob} is the one that works
with quotations, and its object is the person being spoken to.

>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.

That's an interesting interpretation, and I can see where it might make
a little more sense than other interpretations in some cases.  But in
general, the way Klingon treats verbs of saying seems to match the way
English does quotations too.

-- ghunchu'wI'

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