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  5. "The captains and the general…

"The captains and the generals spoke with each other."

Translation:ja'chuq HoDpu' Sa'pu' je.

November 11, 2018



Are {jatlh} and {ja'} two distinct words with separate meanings, non-interchangeable?


Yes. ja' means tell, report. It doesn't necessarily imply speech, though it is commonly used for it. The object of ja' is the report made. Sometimes it seems like the object can also be the person you report to, but this is unclear and might just be the prefix trick in action.

jatlh means speak, say and refers specifically to speech. The object is the speech you deliver.

So you might say Dotlh ja' He/she reports the status, and you could say SoQ jatlh He/she recites a speech.

Both are commonly known as "verbs of speaking." To report the speech of someone, you can employ a special kind of sentence-as-object construction that doesn't use 'e' or net. When you use it, you just put the two sentences together in either order.

qaja'pu' HIqaghQo'
HIqaghQo' qaja'pu'
I told you, "Don't interrupt me." (It's my opinion that the qa- here is the prefix trick. A longer form might be HIqaghQo' SoHvaD jIja' or SoHvaD jIja' HIqaghQo'.)

qaboQ jIjatlhpu'
jIjatlhpu' qaboQ
I said I would help you.


Thank you. Is the sentence-as-object construction special because a verb of speaking is employed? Can you help me find the full explanation in TKD?


Yes, it's a special except for verbs of speaking, the only two of which are jatlh and ja'.

I have the Kindle version of TKD with me so I can't give an exact page reference, but it's in section 6.2.5: Sentences as objects.

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.

This is literally I told you, “Don’t interrupt me!” or “Don’t interrupt me” I told you (qaja’pu’ I told you, HIqaghQo’ don’t interrupt me!). An aspect marker (here, -pu’ perfective) may always be attached to the verb of saying, regardless of whether it is the first or second verb.


Thank you. {qaja'} looks almost like slang to me: A complete sentence accepted as a word, out of convenience.

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