[tlhIngan Hol] [English] Using "pong" as a verb to say "my name is..." ?

Steven Boozer sboozer at uchicago.edu
Wed Oct 5 12:44:56 PDT 2016

>> Thus, /what/ you say is not the object of the verb of speech.

> As an addition to this, we know what can be the object of the verb
> "speak/talk":
>  - a speech:   {SoQ vIjatlh}
>  - a language: {vIraS Hol vIjatlh}

If you want it from the source, Okrand wrote on startrek.klingon (6/1997) - slightly edited for legibility:

The object of {jatlh} "speak" is that which is spoken.  Thus, it's OK to say "speak a language", for example: 

    tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh
    you speak Klingon 

But it's also OK to say "speak an address, speak a lecture", for example {SoQ Dajatlh} "you speak an address" or, more colloquially, "you deliver an address" or "you make a speech".  To say simply {jatlh} "he/she speaks" implies "he/she speaks it}, where "it" is a language or a lecture or whatever.  The indirect object of {jatlh}, when expressed, is the hearer/listener.  Thus: 

    qama'pu'vaD tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 
    you speak Klingon to the prisoners

    qama'pu'vaD SoQ Dajatlh
    you make a speech to the prisoners"  [...]

The verb {jatlh} can also be used when giving direct quotations: 

    tlhIngan jIH jatlh
    he/she says, "I am a Klingon"

    jatlh tlhIngan jIH 
    he/she says, "I am a Klingon"

(With verbs of saying, such as {jatlh}, the phrase that is being said or cited may come before or after the verb.)  If the speaker is first or second person, the pronominal prefix indicating 'no object' is used: 

    tlhIngan jIH jIjatlh
    I say, "I am a Klingon"

    tlhIngan jIH bIjatlh 
    you say, "I am a Klingon"

There are instances where the pronominal prefix marks a big distinction in meaning: 

    tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh 
    you speak Klingon

    tlhIngan Hol bIjatlh 
    you say [the phrase], "Klingon language" 

tlhIngan ghantoH pIn'a'
Ca'Non Master of the Klingons


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