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

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 08:36:54 PDT 2022

On Mon, 20 Jun 2022 at 14:57, D qunen'oS <mihkoun at gmail.com> wrote:

> De'vID:
> > Going back through my discussions with Dr. Okrand, he
> > wrote that {loDnI'Daj vavDaj je} was fine as the object of {ja' qeylIS}
> jIH:
> > Didn't we know that already from the tkd's {qaja'pu' HIqaghQo'}?
> SuStel:
> > No, because we didn't know whether the qa- on ja' was an instance of the
> prefix trick or not,
> > because we never saw a version as SoH qaja'pu'. Now we know that it's
> completely
> > irrelevant whether it's the prefix trick.
> De'vID:
> > No. In {qaja'pu'}, the object is second-person (and implicit, i.e.,
> represented neither by a noun
> > or a pronoun). In {loDnI'Daj vavDaj je ja' qeylIS}, the object is
> third-person (plural) and
> > explicit (it's a noun phrase, not a pronoun).
> Ok, wait a minute.
> Initially we had the {qaja'pu' HIqaghQo'}, where the problem was (if my
> understanding is correct) whether the {qa-} was a case of the second person
> prefix trick being used, or whether there was an elided {SoH} before the
> {ja'pu'}. So, 'oqranD was asked and he said that {ja'} *can* indeed take an
> object.

No, we already knew {ja'} can take an object. The context for my statement
above was the question of whether the third-person prefix trick is
restricted only to pronouns, or if it's allowed for more general nouns.

TKD has the following examples of {ja'}: {yIja''egh}, {peja''egh},
{qaja'qang}, {nuja'rup}, {qaja'pu'}, {HIja'neS}, {choja'[Qo']chugh},
{choja'pa'}, {yIja'Qo'}.

Of those, every single one has a first- or second-person object, except the
last example, {yIja'Qo'}, which has a third-person object. (We know that
there's an object because the English translation is "Don't tell him/her!",
as {yI-} is also used for you-none.) This means that, in theory, every
single one of those could've been examples of the prefix trick at work. If
so, it does not answer the question of whether the third-person prefix
trick applies to just pronouns, since we don't have an example of it
applying to a noun which isn't a pronoun.

The 1s edition of the paq'batlh has the following examples of
{ja'}: {SengmeywIj vIja'laHbe'}, {chaHvaD lut ja'}, {lut ja'taHvIS},
{mu'meyvam ja'ta'}, {le'yo' lutmey juja'pu'mo'}, {le'yo' lutmey Saja'pu'},
{jIHtaHbogh meq Saja'}, {tlhIngan tuqmey tIja'}, and {loDnI'Daj vavDaj je
ja' qeylIS}.

The objects of {ja'} illustrated in these sentences are an audience
({tlhIngan tuqmey}, {loDnI'Daj vavDaj je}), a spoken thing ({lutmey} or
{mu'mey}), or a topic ({Seng}, {meq}). {chaHvaD lut ja'} shows that if
there's both a spoken thing and an audience, then the audience is marked
with {-vaD}. The {le'yo' lutmey} and {meq} sentences show the prefix trick
being used for first- and second-person indirect objects. (Note that the
prefix trick can't be used on {chaHvaD lut ja'}, since he-them prefix is
null, the same as he-it.)

Dr. Okrand confirmed that these are all correct ways of using {ja'}. (Some
of these lines were changed for reasons unrelated to the grammar of {ja'}.)

The {loDnI'Daj vavDaj je ja' qeylIS} line is interesting, because *if* it
is an example of the third-person prefix trick at work, then it would
answer the question of whether one can say {SuStel vIjang} in the
affirmative (assuming that {jang} works like {ja'}).

Dr. Okrand didn't use the terms "direct object" and "indirect object" for
the objects of {ja'} (though I did use these terms in my messages to him,
and he didn't object to my usage). He did confirm that, if Kahless had been
telling a story to his brother and father, that {-vaD} would be appended to
both {loDnI'Daj} and {vavDaj}. (Yes, we already know that {-vaD} would be
used for the audience from {chaHvaD lut ja'}, and we already know type-5
suffixes are attached to each noun in a conjunction from the SkyBox cards.
His answer is giving already-known information.)

> But I still can't understand why this clarification was necessary. I mean
> was it ever possible that a verb can exist, which cannot take an object,
> and can only be used with a/the prefix trick? Or was it possible that there
> would be a verb which could only take a second person and implicit object?
> Obviously there was an issue with the {ja'}, which I (still) don't
> understand. And since I (still) don't understand what this issue was, I'm
> bound to misuse {ja'}. But what was that issue?

The problem isn't the second-person. It's the third-person and whether the
prefix-trick is being applied and in which cases. But SuStel is right that
it's irrelevant. We have several examples of how to use {ja'} with a speech
event, an audience, and both. Whether or not a Klingon grammarian would say
that a particular sentence was an instance of the "prefix trick" at work
doesn't really affect whether or not we would judge it to be correct.

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