tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Nov 04 11:48:09 2009

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RE: Sentences as objects

Steven Boozer (

Tracy Canfield:
>>>I'm guessing that you can use these in two sentences:
>>>   jagh jeylu'. vIQIjpu'.  
>>>   "The enemy was defeated. I explained it."  
>>>for an equivalent to "I explained that the enemy was defeated."

> I've also used {vIQIj. jIjatlh. jagh jeylu'.}

>> Can't you just say {jagh jeylu' 'e' vIQIj.}?
>> I always thought that any verb that can take an object could be used
>> with 'e'/net. jImuj'a'?

Marc Okrand:
TKD 67:  Similarly, with verbs of saying (say, tell, ask, etc.), {'e'} and {net} are not used. The two phrases simply follow one another, in either order: 
    {qaja'pu' HIqaghQo'} or 
    {HIqaghQo' qaja'pu'} 
    I told you not to interrupt me 

>The point of Okrand's explanation was that there are no indirect
>quotations in Klingon, and that direct quotes are actually independent
>sentences referred to by another independent sentence.
>(On the other hand, [Voragh] also quotes the sentence
>   juDev 'ej Dujvam ra'wI' DagheS 'e' vItlhob 
>   I ask you to lead us as commander of this ship. KGT
>which seems to contradict what he said above.)
>I guess it ultimately depends on what you consider a verb of saying. I
>tend to be more conservative and treat any verb that involves conveying
>information as a verb of saying. Can you ask for something or explain
>something without saying it?

Sure you can: e.g. with a gesture, in writing, clicking a button on a website, etc.

>Actually, to correct myself, I think Okrand's point was that reported
>speech can never be an object of a verb of saying, and probably not of
>any verb. The English distinction between indirect and direct reported
>speech is therefore not relevant to Klingon.

More on {QIj} "explain" FYI:

  QaghwIj vIQIj 'e' yIchaw'neS 
  Permit me to explain my mistake, your Honor. PK
KGT 149:  The literal meaning of {chuH} is "throw a spear at, hurl a spear at". The object of {chuH} is usually the intended target, the person or thing at which the spear is thrown. In the slang sense, the object of the verb is the person who wants clarification, as in {HIchuH!} ("Clarify for me! Spell it out for me!") or {yaS chuH} ("He/she clarifies [it] for the officer"). The verb {QIj} ("explain") is a standard term somewhat close to this in meaning, though the object of {QIj} is that which is explained, while the person to whom the explanation is given is the indirect object: {yaSvaD nab QIj} ("He/she explains the plan to the officer"). 

Canon Master of the Klingons

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