This question is in the spirit of other current/recent threads: Assume that V'ger had cameras or camera-equivalents observing every part of itself, and could see what the Enterprise officers saw on the outside of the original Earth probe: V***GER. What possible guidance could V'ger (identifying itself as such through the Ilia-mechanism) have had in knowing that V***GER constituted language symbols? And even if it could recognize them as such, what agency could possibly have instructed it as to making a best-guess vocalization? I suppose one could raise the same issues about Nomad in "The Changeling," but a viewer isn't given time to think about how it knows to call itself Nomad, or how and why it might be able to vocalize; we're shown a speaker grille, and that takes care of it neatly. (Also, soon enough it's calling itself Ton Ru as well.) But in that case there wasn't a little plate saying NOMAD on the outside, which is why the V***GER name revelation comes off poorly - it's a half-assed "wha' ?" resolution of a quarter-assed concept, somewhat made up for by the big Decker-Ilia-V'ger meld scene a moment later.