tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Aug 21 14:03:07 2002

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

>> 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.
>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?
>(It's in my archives somewhere)
>DloraH, BG

He twice said it applies when the indirect object is first or second
person, but he didn't actually say that it *only* applies in such cases.
It's possible that the 1st/2nd usage is mentioned because the examples
given have a 3rd person object, and the "real" usage is that the prefix
merely disagrees with the person of the object.

You be the judge:

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

The indirect object of jatlh, when expressed, is the hearer/listener.

        qama'pu'vaD tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh "you speak Klingon to the prisoners"
        (qama'pu'vaD "for the prisoners," tlhIngan Hol "Klingon language,"
        Dajatlh "you speak it")

        qama'pu'vaD SoQ Dajatlh "you make a speech to the prisoners"
        (qama'pu'vaD "for the prisoners," SoQ "speech, lecture, address,"
        Dajatlh "you speak it")

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.

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