[tlhIngan Hol] some info on {jatlh} and {jang}

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Fri Jun 17 07:11:40 PDT 2022

On Fri, 17 Jun 2022 at 15:05, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

> I think the takeaway message here is not to think about strict rules when
> using verbs of speech.
> All this "clarification" has really muddled things.
Really? What's muddled that was clear before?

> De'vID:
> > it would be impossible to use the prefix trick on a sentence like "I
> speak Klingon to him"
> > (because {vI-} already indicates the direct object, {tlhIngan Hol}
> "Klingon", and thus cannot
> > indicate the indirect object, {ghaH} "him"). But {[ghaH] lujang} "they
> answer him"
> > is fine in the paq'batlh, because the only possible object in context is
> Molor.
> If the point of this thread is that the prefix trick *can* be applied to
> the third person as well, then -if the context is clear- why couldn't we
> write {tlhIngan Hol vIjatlh}?
> You can. It means *I speak Klingon.* It doesn't mean *I speak Klingon to
> him *because the default assumption is that when you have a verb prefix
> apparently agreeing with a sensible object, that prefix will be interpreted
> as agreeing with that object, not with some elided indirect object. I can
> see some word-play being possible in the ambiguity, but in general the
> default assumption is that the prefix trick is not being used, and this is
> only changed if the object and prefix don't make sense together in context.
I don't think any wordplay is even possible here. It's not just that we
should assume the prefix trick isn't being used. I think it simply *can't*
be used, because the compatibility of the prefix with the direct object
rules it out.

> So, and since the prefix trick has been extended to the third person as
> well, why can't the {tlhIngan Hol lujatlh} mean too "the speak Klingon to
> him"?
> Since the default assumption is that an object and prefix matching means
> there is no prefix trick, this will only be interpreted as *They speak
> Klingon.* In theory, if I said *Holmey law' lujatlh,* then it might be
> interpreted as *They speak many languages to him,* because the prefix is
> wrong otherwise. However, I'd hesitate to employ this, as it would look
> more like an error than a use of the prefix trick.
Maybe I didn't explain it clearly, but what I understood was that the
prefix trick can't be used if there's any possibility that the direct and
indirect object of the verb can be confused. That's why it works in first-
and second-person, because you can't speak a person (i.e., the first- or
second-person can't be the direct object of {jatlh}). But a third-person
thing (like {SoQ} or {Hol}) can be the direct object of {jatlh}, and so if
you use a prefix indicating third-person object, it would be interpreted as
referring to that. I think {Holmey law' lujatlh} would be seen as an error.

> De'vID:
> > whereas {tlhIngan Hol jatlh [chaH]} means "they say, 'Klingon language'
> Can't this mean too "the speak Klingon to them"?
> No, but it can mean *They speak Klingon.*
Only in informal situations. In formal settings, the prefix {lu-} would be
required for this meaning. (KGT p. 168)

> The lesson to learn is: the prefix trick only works when it would be wrong
> or make no sense without the prefix trick. (It's basically Okrand saying,
> whatever I said before is right because the new rule is that anything that
> is wrong is actually right.).
I don't really see it as a new rule. I think it's more like a rule he has
had in mind for a long time, and only partially explained previously.

What's an example of something that was wrong before but which is now right?

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.kli.org/pipermail/tlhingan-hol-kli.org/attachments/20220617/da6f2517/attachment-0005.htm>

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list