Self felt the noise - words - register in the host's brain and then the connections impulses made. And the further impulses that spawned from those. On and on. Until finally impulses to the throat and mouth causing the vibrations in the small taut muscles in the throat and convolutions in the tongue and mouth. But Self didn't know how to interpret those yet so it paid attention to how Jon responded to his own words.
It learned frustration then and disappointment. Self also wondered again if the host had affected - or infected - it with these new feelings. It had focused on the sounds that connected most to the visual cortex so it could try to learn which words represented what objects. But the words triggered non-visual connections. Self had so little to work with. It tries to connect the very few words with meanings. The host or the man he ate used the words but it didn't know the meanings yet.
It took some time - about as much time as Jon took - to correlate what it had sensed from the various portions of Jon's brain.
Connection between "military" & "base" & Destroyers
Connection between "you" & "who" & Host
Connection between "man" & Host-kind
Connection between "is" and "are"
Connection between "What are you doing?" from the consumed Man & "I'm sorry," & " kind" & a bad feeling it didn't understand yet although it wondered if the feeling was a softer despair
Connection between "want" & watchfulness maybe?
"What" – soft despair?
"is" – null meaning so far
"it" – null meaning so far
"that" – null meaning so far
"you" – host
"want" – watchfulness
"What is it that you want?" – (soft despair) (null meanings) (host) (watchfulness)
Self had put an image of Manhattan Island in its host's mind then Jon pictured certain things. Listing those things made him present (soft despair) (null meanings) (host) (watchfulness). It agreed with the idea of being cautious but Jon's feelings when speaking didn't match when he had been travelling.
So either it was wrong about the host having a self or it's meanings were wrong. With so little information, the meanings were probably wrong.
It didn't know what to respond so it resorted to what it needed: a basis – nouns. Self turned Jon's eyes to a building then released the eyes but then maintained the image for a moment more even after an instinctive twitch from its host.
It readied itself to force Jon to focus for a moment on the river and bridge and a few other objects in the hopes its host would understand.