[tlhIngan Hol] Sorry for asking again about *-'e'* as topic

janSIy . kenjutsuka at live.com
Wed Nov 24 05:32:23 PST 2021

What we know for certain is that you can "front" the grammatical object with {-'e'}.  If you are using an adverb, it would normally come before the grammatical object, but the grammatical object may be given additional focus and attention by adding {-'e'} to it and moving it before the adverb.  This is what is happening in the example {cheng'e' DaH Sam!** where {cheng} is not really the topic, but rather a grammatical object with extra focus and attention.  It's a fine line and we could argue all week about whether this is a type of topicalization, but in any case, it's clearly something different from when you are adding a third noun as topic that is neither object nor subject.

Perhaps an additional note should be made that Dr. Okrand told Chris Lipscombe (at the 2017 qep'a') that:
fronted nouns are marked and it should only be used in extreme situations when the extra level of emphasis is really needed. He said you could do it all the time if you wanted to, but it would be like someone speaking in Shakespearian English all the time (for example).

I think we only have one example that shows a topic which is not also the grammatical object.  In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, we have the line, {qIbDaq SuvwI’’e’ SoH Dun law’ Hoch Dun puS}.  This seems to be a true topic with the marked noun being neither the object nor the subject.  But, since it is the only example we have, many of us are unsure of when this can be done or exctly how it is used.  That is why it is "problematic" and why we cannot fully help you understand what's right and what's not.


From: tlhIngan-Hol <tlhingan-hol-bounces at lists.kli.org> on behalf of luis.chaparro at web.de <luis.chaparro at web.de>
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 6:40 AM
To: tlhingan-hol at kli.org <tlhingan-hol at kli.org>
Subject: [tlhIngan Hol] Sorry for asking again about *-'e'* as topic

Although this question has to do with my last text, I want to ask a bit more generally, so I thought it's better to post it in a new thread.

I know the use of *-'e'* as topic (except in copulas and superlatives) is problematic. I just want to know if I have understood what's right and what's not. In my text I wanted to say: *It will be Christmas soon. As for Spain, we decorate our homes between December 6th and 8th*. I understand now this sentence is too long and I shouldn't try to use a topic here. But then we have the example *cheng'e' DaH Sam!* and in the PB, at the beginning, the sentences with *DaH tIQoy*.

So my question is: if the sentence structure is simple, could I use *-'e'* as topic? For example:

*Soj'e' tIr ngogh wIje'nIS* (*As for the food, we need to buy bread*)

Thank you and sorry for asking so much!
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