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Clefts and Pseudoclefts (longish)

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Friday, May 26, 2000, 4:30
(Originally Jim Grossman/Matt Pearson.  This in UTF-8 BTW)

To produce cleft/pseudocleft constructions in Kash brings up a number of
problems.  1. The words for 'who, what' are (so far) strictly interrogatory,
not relative.  2. The 'relative pronoun'  _(a)re_ is actually  just an
invariant subordinate clause marker, somewhat like Span. que. 3. The verb
'to be' exists, but is only more or less obligatory in NOUN BE NOUN, much
less so in NOUN BE LOC.-- and the more colloquial, the less likely.  4, It
is possible to front a constituent for emphasis, and in some cases one might
_translate_ this as passive or cleft, probably depending on stylistic
factors (e.g. too many active sentences in a row etc.)

Let's see......  First, some normal sentences and their
"passives"/inversions.  I omit the past tense marker /-sa/-- that's OK, and
irrelevant to the discussion.

I saw Erek:  ma.tikas(sa) erek.en  (1sg-see(past) erek-acc)
"passive":  ereken matikas   (Note: The acc. is just -n after vowels)

I saw him:  yan matikas  / "passive": iyan matikas (full form, stressed, of
the 3s pro. instead of the clitic- somewhat emphatic)

Erek ate lopa (meat): erek  ya.nahan lopa (lopa, as meat, is inanim., no
marked acc.)
"passive":  lopa erek yanahan (or even , lopa yanahan erek-- no confusion,
'the lopa (animal) ate Erek' would be lopa yanahan ereken).
These would all be considered normal, and non-emphatic, unless the fronted
object was given heavy stress.

An ancient (1200 years old) ex. of a cleft S:
"It was Duke Adrokel who drove out the last Gwr"
karun adrokel, iya rum.uwik.(a)sa feliyosh.on lus
(K.A. 3s-BE-past, 3s-EMPH Caus-flee-past Gwr-acc. last)
K. A. it was, HE drove out....

Modern exs.:
It was Erek whom I saw:  Fairly formal: ereken, yan matikas
    More colloquial:  erek(en), na, matikas-- The acc. could be dropped
here, since context & verb form clarify, not so in case both subj. and obj.
were 3d person.   _na_ is actually a hesitation form, sort of "well" or

It was Erek whom Sani saw:  Formal:  ereken, sani yan yatikas ~ ereken, yan
yatikas Sani.  Colloq: ereken, na, sani yatikas ~ yatikas sani (and if the
context were not clear, even the colloq. would keep the _yan_)

I can't eat cheese:  ta (ma)pole manahan keso
It's cheese I can't eat:  Formal: keso, ta yu mapole manahan (_yu_ is
3s-acc/inanim. referring to Keso) Colloq. keso, na, ta pole manahan
In these cases, the commas indicate breaks in the intonation.

We sail on Monday :  mi.fosi lembrim (1-pl.sail lembrim)
It's on Monday that we sail:  Formal:  lembrim, mifosi (lembrim
day.3s-poss we sail = sort of, lembrim is the day we sail. Colloq:  lembrim,
na, leroni fosi.mim (sort of, the day of our sailing).  This one is
difficult, not too much different from simply moving a time-adverb around.

I was going to move on to pseudo-clefts, but am not satisfied with them so
far.  Anyway, this is quite long enough, and me brain hurts.   Hope it's all
reasonably clear.  Comments and the usual constructive criticisms are