[tlhIngan Hol] Is the emphatic {chaH} Ca'NoN ?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Fri Nov 16 09:23:29 PST 2018

On 11/16/2018 10:55 AM, Felix Malmenbeck wrote:
> I don't think it's been specified, but I don't think that the use of 
> explicit pronouns is emphatic from a grammatical standpoint. However, 
> using explicit pronouns may convey a sense of importance to 
> listener/reader when they don't add any information to the sentence, 
> as in «vIta' jIH.»; after all, the word doesn't serve any clarifying 
> function, so that really only leaves being in there either for 
> emphasis or for purely aesthetic reasons.
> You can make this emphasis more explicit by using -'e', or stressing 
> the word «jIH».
> On the other hand, in «vIghro'mey legh chaH.», the word «chaH» helps 
> to disambiguate the sentence, so you'd need something else (-'e', tone 
> of voice, form of speech, etc.) to make it emphatic.

This is my take as well. TKD uses the terms /emphasis, focus,/ and 
/clarity /vaguely, without grammatical precision. It calls *-'e'* 
/topic,/ but then uses it as focus. I think when TKD says "Pronouns may 
be used as nouns, but only for emphasis or added clarity," it is exactly 
what Felix says: clarity when needed, usable to provide emphasis by 
stressing it vocally. It does not mean /focus/ like *-'e'* does.

Notice also that the explanation of *-'e'* as focus shows the 
difference. Ignoring for a moment the missing verb prefix and the weird 
spacing, it says that *lujpu' jIH'e'* means /I, and only I, have 
failed,/ while *lujpu' jIH* means /I have failed/ with no emphasis of 
any kind. This is pretty clear and explicit. The emphasis of not 
dropping a pronoun is in its ability to clarify or spell out in careful 
detail what you mean, and does not provide the sort of emphasis that is 


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