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Re: Tagalog & trigger idea: I'd like comments. :)

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 17, 2004, 22:17
On Wed, Nov 17, 2004 at 04:51:40PM -0500, Roger Mills wrote:
> I confess to being confused about these, myself. Here is a sentence:
I think everyone is confused on this front to some extent, but I'll try to convey my understanding.
> "Stella Gibbons wrote a book in 1932." S.G. is certainly the subject; is she > also the topic? (I think so.) Or is she the focus; if not, what is?
> "A book was written by S.G. in 1932" Now what's the topic/focus? Obviously, > "book" has been promoted to subject.
Not all sentences *have* a focus or a topic, for one thing. In fact, relatively few have a topic. The topic is understood context; it appears, probably as the focus, in the sentence which establishes it, and is the topic of the subsequent sentences without necessarily appearing in them. If your story about Stella Gibbons's book began "The year was 1932.", then I'd say that 1932 was the focus of the sentence and the new topic. In English the subject is often the focus, but not necessarily; I'd say that the focus in both the active and passive versions of your sentence is on the book. Whereas in this one:
> "It was in 1932 that S.G. wrote a book" OR "It was 1932 when S.G....." > Now what's topic/focus???
I'd say the focus was the year. -Marcos