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Emphasizing parts of a clause

Sometimes one wants to put special emphasis on one part of a clause, such as its subject, object, the verb itself, or a prepositional phrase. There are several ways of doing this in Lugamun.

XXX Revise this, since now there is also a subject marker and every verb can be preceded by a verb marker, there are additional possibilities, and some of the options listed here (especially some uses of tu before verbs) are not longer needed. Explain how word order can be made completely free by using subject, object, and verb markers – but a phrase moved to the front will always be considered somewhat stressed. Explain that in fronted noun phrases it’s a good idea to include de in possessive pronouns since otherwise the pronoun could possibly be misinterpreted as subject.

XXX Example of free word order:

Gen kawines gran na lai [responsible]nes gran. – With great strength comes great responsibility.

Fronting for emphasis

In Lugamun, the subject is commonly placed at the front of the clause. Placing any other element there is one way of giving a certain emphasis to this element.

Any prepositional phrase can be moved to the front in order to emphasis. The object can likewise by moved to the front, but in this case it must be preceded by the object marker o (which is usually omitted when the object follows the verb). The fronted phrase should usually be terminated by a comma (when writing) or by a short pause (when speaking) to indicate where it ends and the subject begins.

O tofa, mi kula. – I’m eating an apple. / It’s an apple that I’m eating. (the apple is emphasized)

A Tina, mi li da buku. – I gave the book to Tina. / It’s Tina I gave the book to. (the recipient Tina is emphasized)

Gen Ben, mi li fa [discovery]. – It’s Ben I made the discovery with. / I made the discovery together with Ben. (the fact that Ben was involved is in emphasized)

Bina cien, safirja finu cvan manto. – Immediately the traveler took off his cloak. (the fact that the act took place immediately is stressed)

Time expressions and adverbs referring to the whole clause can also be fronted for emphasis.

Ku garam, sol bria. – Warmly the Sun is shining. / The Sun is shining warmly. (the warmness of the shining is emphasized)

In the case of time expressions and adverbs, the emphasis is only slight, as such a placement is relatively normal.

Den laste, mi (xi) hapi, bal si den, (mi xi) sedi. – Yesterday I was happy, but today I’m sad. (slight emphasis is put on the two dates and the change in mood they brought)

Kixa man li [arrive]. – Then a man arrived. (slight emphasis is put in the fact that this is what happened next)

Moving a prepositional phrase or another sentence element to the front can also be useful in poetry and for other stylistic reasons. But note that a certain amount of increased emphasis will always be placed on the fronted element in such cases – one cannot consider fronting an entirely “neutral” operation.

Starting a clause with “an”

Another option for emphasizing a part of a clause is to make it the topic, using an … at the beginning of the clause. In the main clause, the topic is then referred to by using a suitable pronoun.

An si tofa, mi kula it. – Concerning this apple, I’m eating it.

An Tina, mi li da buku a ya. – Concerning Tina, I gave her the book.

An Ben, mi li fa [discovery] gen ya. – Concerning Ben, I made the discovery with him.

This strategy can also be used for the subject or verb of a clause.

An mi, mi kula tofa. – Concerning me, I’m eating an apple.

An Dora, ya kula tofa. – Concerning Dora, she’s eating an apple.

In order to make the verb the topic, it needs to be converted into a verbal noun by placing tu in front of it. In the relative clause, a generic verb such as fa ‘do, make’ is used to refer back to it.

An tu kula si tofa, mi fa kvai it. – About eating this apple, I will do it soon.

XXX Maybe pronouns can be omitted if they can be inferred from the context? In this case, it would likewise be possible to leave such as “gap” in the main clauses of sentences such as these.

Using adverbs for emphasis

XXX xi can be used as well, but it’s placed before the emphasized element.

Another options for expressing emphasis is to add an emphatic adverb such as ku sahi ‘truly, really, indeed’ or ku real ‘really, actually, indeed’ after the element you want to stress.

Dora ku sahi kula tofa. – Dora, indeed, is eating an apple. (emphasis is put on Dora, maybe because this act was not expected of her)

Mi kula si tofa ku real. – I’m eating this apple, indeed. (the apple is emphasized)

Mi kula ku real si tofa. – I’m actually eating this apple. (the fact of the eating is emphasized)

Mi li da buku a Tina ku sahi. – I gave the book indeed to Tina. (the recipient Tina is emphasized)

Using relative clauses for emphasis

A further option is to use the emphasized element as subject and move what would otherwise be the main clause into a relative clause modifying this subject.

XXX Probably/Preferably remove the need to use yan or a similar dummy pronoun here.

Tofa xi it (o) ke mi kula. – An apple is what I’m eating. / It’s an apple that I’m eating.

Tina xi yan a ke mi li da buku. – Tina is the one I gave the book to. / It’s Tina I gave the book to.

Ben xi yan gen ke mi li fa [discovery]. – Ben is the one I made the discovery with. / It’s Ben I made the discovery with.

Mi xi yan ke kula tofa. – It’s me who’s eating an apple.

Tu kula tofa xi ta (o) ke mi fa. – Eating an apple is what I do. / Eating an apple is that which I do.

Rationale: This is the most typical way of focusing noun phrases in creole languages (APiCS 104). XXX Considering that’s so, maybe move this style further up and de-emphasize some of the other ways?

en/grammar/emphasizing_parts_of_a_clause.txt · Last modified: 2023-02-03 11:18 by pluntert

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