tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Dec 15 09:02:07 1999

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Re: Topic or emphasis?

On Mon, 14 Dec 2099, David Trimboli wrote:

> Ooooh!  I'd like to throw in the suggestion that EVERY grammatical function
> of {-'e'}, like head-noun identification, etc., indicates topic.  Take an
> few examples:
> yaS'e' qIpbogh puq vIlegh
> I see the officer who hit the child. The DIvI' Hol translation should read:

"I see the officer whom the child hit." -OR-
"I see the officer who was hit by the child."
> As we know from conjunctions, adverbials, and so on, TKD frequently fails to
> distinguish between "verbal clause" and "sentence."  (For instance,
> "sentence" conjunctions can conjoin phrases with verbs possessing
> subordinate clause suffixes.)  Perhaps with {-'e'} disambiguation, one might
> consider {yaS} to be the topic of the CLAUSE, not the whole sentence.  "The
> officer.  We're talkin' 'bout the officer.  What about the officer?  You
> ready to hear about the officer?  Here's what I'm sayin' 'bout the officer:
> a child hit him."  It then goes into the main sentence as usual: "I saw the
> officer."

By that logic I can read the sentence thusly:

yaS'e' qImbogh puq vIlegh.
"As for the officer, I see the child who hit him/her [the officer]."

It's not a bad theory, and it can clear up a few things. But it doesn't
jive with current usage (at least, not htat *I* can tell).


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