tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Nov 04 12:46:41 2009

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Re: Sentences as objects

Terrence Donnelly ( [KLI Member]

--- On Wed, 11/4/09, qurgh lungqIj <> wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 2:45 PM,
> Steven Boozer <>
> wrote:
> > 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 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").
> >
> >
> If the object of {QIj} is the thing being explained then
> 'e' should work:
> jagh jeylu'. ghaHvaD 'e' vIQIj - The enemy is defeated. I
> explained that to
> him. (I explained to him that the enemy was defeated)

This isn't the same thing as your original {jagh jeylu' 'e' vIQIj}. I'm not disputing that {QIj} can take an object, such as {Qagh} or {'e'}. Heck, even {jatlh} can take an object: eg.,{SoQ vIjatlh}. But Okrand clearly said that discourse before a verb of saying is not the object of the verb and doesn't take {'e'}. 

"The enemy is defeated," I explained. 
I explained that the enemy has been defeated. 
The enemy is defeated. I explained this.

The first example is direct discourse; the second is indirect discourse. In Klingon, there appears to be no distinction between the two forms, and according to Okrand, one would not use {'e'}.  The third sentence is closest to your example above, but this isn't really reported speech anymore, just two statements.

> I wouldn't see {QIj} as a verb of saying since, as Voragh
> pointed out, you
> don't have to speak to explain something. 

I'd love to see an example of this, because I'm having a very hard time envisioning a situation in which a speech act can be delivered without speaking, or something equivalent to speaking; since Okrand never really clarified what a verb of saying is, maybe we can look at it from the other direction: any verb used with an example of reported speech is a verb of "saying", in other words, reported speech is always accompanied by a verb with no object, if it is reporting on that speech.

For a long time, we seemed to have accepted the idea that only {jatlh} and {ja'} could be used to report speech, and any other verbs that "qualified" the kind of speech act were independent sentences, as in {jIQIj. ghobe'. jIjatlh.} approx. = "'No', I explained."

>Okrand's example
> seems to back
> this up, since he isn't using it to directly quote
> anything.

As I noted, Okrand isn't quoting anyone in his example, he's just using a simple noun as an object. (In this vein, I would totally accept {jagh jeylu'meH mIw vIQIj}.

-- ter'eS

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