tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Aug 21 10:36:41 2002

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RE: prefix trick (RE: Aw: Re: adverbials)

> >> This is used only in first and second person constructions.
> >
> > Does it only apply to 1st & 2nd person constructions because MO has said
> > that or because that's as far as canon examples and understanding have
> > shown.

Both.  If you think about it, the trick wouldn't work because of the "null" 
prefixes in the third person.  (It would theoretically work with {lu-} 
"they [do something] to him/her/it", but Okrand has told us that it's not 
used in the third person at all.)

>I believe MO said so, and I think it was on that ST news group, but I admit
>I don't know for sure where he said, if he did say it.  canon anybody?

Here's the relevant post:

From:       "Marc Okrand" <>
Date:       29 Jun 1997
Subject:    Re: Some quick questions...


When the indirect object (in this case, the hearer) is first or second
person, the pronominal prefix which normally indicates first or second
person object may be used.  There are other examples of this sort of thing
with other verbs.  For example, someone undergoing the Rite of Ascension

   tIqwIj Sa'angnIS "I must show you [plural] my heart"
   (tIqwIj "my heart," Sa'angnIS "I must show you [plural] it")

The pronominal prefix in this phrase is Sa-, which means "I [do something
to] all of you" in such sentences as:

   Salegh "I see you [plural]"

but when there's already an object (in this case, tIqwIj "my heart"), the
"object" of the prefix is interpreted as the indirect object, so Sa- means
"I [do something to] it for you" or the like.

This, then, brings us back to your question.  Since the object of jatlh is
that which is spoken, and since "you" or "I" or "we" cannot be spoken (and
therefore cannot be the object of the verb), if the verb is used with a
pronominal prefix indicating a first- or second-person object, that first
or second person is the indirect object.

Which is a not very elegant way of saying that qajatlh means "I speak to
you" or, more literally, perhaps "I speak it to you," where "it" is a
language or a speech or whatever:

   qajatlh "I speak to you"

   Sajatlh "I speak to you [plural]"

   chojatlh "you speak to me"

   tlhIngan Hol qajatlh "I speak Klingon to you"
   (tlhIngan Hol "Klingon language," qajatlh "I speak it to you")

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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