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  5. "Are those animals targs?"

"Are those animals targs?"

Translation:targhmey bIH'a' Ha'DIbaHmeyvetlh'e'?

April 19, 2019



Why should the "Ha'DIbaHmeyvetlh'e'" need the suffix 'e'? As I understand, this indicates the topic of the sentence, but I don't see how the meaning of the question would change if it weren't there.


It is simply a grammatical requirement that when using an explicit subject along with a pronoun as "to be", that the explicit subject must be marked with -'e'. Because bIH is already acting as both subject and verb, the sentence would be grammatically incorrect if Ha'DIbaHmeyvetlh were not marked with the topicalizer -'e'.


We don't actually know that that's the reason the -'e' is needed. TKD says that in {noun} {pronoun} sentences, the pronoun is the subject, but in {noun} {pronoun} {noun}'e' sentences, the {noun}'e' is the subject. In neither case do I think he is being very grammatically careful in his descriptions.

So NovaFusion, just memorize that when you've got {noun} {pronoun} {noun}'e', the -'e' is required.

(And wherever I say noun above, read that as noun or noun phrase.)


This makes a little bit more sense now. I may have been thinking of the pronoun a little bit too literally as a verb, but it makes sense. Since the sentence basically consists of three nouns (sort of) strung together, it seems reasonable to explicitly mark one as the topic.

Thanks for the help!

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