Are there many other words than 'a word' that can follow 'speak', as an object?We use speak with a direct object.
She didn't speak a word.It is especially common in constructions such as "I can't speak a word of Polish".
I agree with Greyfyiar that in the original context, "say a word" is more common.
Very precise, Nunty. Thank you. I had been struggling to explain this to non-English speakers for ages.As far as I can articulate it, speak refers more to the physical act of producing words and say refers more to the content. (This is very general, of course.) "I speak Hebrew" not "I say Hebrew"; "What did you say to him?" and not "What did you speak to him?"