Notes on Nolan 6


Identification copulas, Type IV, PVpS: these have the predicate brought forward for emphasis or rhetorical effect. In this case, the temporary predicate pronoun is retrospective rather than anticipatory. Tosach an uilc is é is usa do chosc. Another example from PUL’s Aesop is An bás a cheapas don éan is é is trúig bháis dom féin and from PUL’s sermons, an t-uabhar is é ‘ chuireann duine ag formad lena chómharsain. You often need to supply an implied an rud or na daoine before the relative clause of the subject phrase. The pronoun often assimilates to the subject, as in clann na ríthe agus na n-uasal is iad a thagadh. The pronoun may also refer back to a material predicate in a preceding sentence.

Type V, PS: the predicate and the subject are juxtaposed with no verb.  For example tosach an uilc is usa do chosc and Gormfhlaith an chéad duine do bhuail uime.

Type VI, SP: the subject and predicate are juxtaposed with no verb. This is an abbreviated form of Type II, easily confused with a copula of classification sentence. An example is Eagla Dé túis na heagna. This could be a Type V sentence meaning “to be truly wise we must fear God”, but in other contexts it would be an attempt to explain what the fear of God is — which makes it Type VI, equivalent to is é rud eagla Dé ná túis na heagna. Tír gan teanga tír gan anam – this sentence clearly defines tír gan teanga and so is an SP sentence, Type VI. It can’t be a copula of classification, because you are not talking about any individual country, but about a class of country that has no language, so this is not classification of an individual, but the identification of classes. It stands for ‘sé rud tír gan teanga ná tír gan anam.

Type VII, VPS: this is where the predicate is a 1st or 2nd person pronoun, a 3rd person pronoun with a demonstrative, or any pronoun and féinMise Gearóid Ó Nualláin. Deir sé gurb é sin Pádraig Ó Cealla. An tu san? B’é féin árdollamh Uladh. GÓN takes strong issue with the view that mise or tusa must be the logical subject in such sentences. Take for example, the question cé thusa? It is argued by some that in the reply mise an bás mise must be subject. However, GÓN cannot agree, unless these sentences be construed as examples of type VI, and in any case where the verb is expressed before mise, then it must be the logical predicate, because the function of the copula in Irish is to identify the predicate. The comparison with what would be the subject in an equivalent English sentence is not a valid argument for him, as it only serves to anglicise Irish. Also, has type VIII as a type of sentence where mise is the logical subject, and so is making an distinction here.

Type VIII: VpPS: this type differs from Type I only in that the subject is a pronoun of the 1st or 2nd person or a 3rd person pronoun strengthened by a demonstrative. This shows that the idea that these cannot be subjects is false, and also shows that misewas the predicate in Type VII sentences. These pronouns can be subjects if we definitely want them to be the subjects in our minds.

‘Sí cainnt an tSlánaitheóra féin í sin: the writer clearly wants cainnt an tSlánaitheóra féin to be the predicate in this sentence.

‘Sé mo chorp é seo: in the words of the consecration, which GÓN holds are usually incorrectly translated, it has to be phrased like this, with é seo as the subject and mo chorp as the predicate. To say is é seo mo chorpsa -leaving aside the fact that GÓN says the emphatic suffix is out of place – would mean “my body is here and nowhere else”, which would be theologically unsupportable.

Finally an example where thu is the subject is from PUL’s translation of Imitatio Christi: féach, mo Dhia thu, mo chuid ‘en tsaol thu. So the theory that first and second person pronouns must come after the copula (albeit omitted here) is false.

Type IX, VpSP: this type has a proleptic pronoun ea, unlike types II and II that had é, í and iad. In this type ea anticipates a definite predicate, but it is only found in poetry, and GÓN’s examples caome from old works, including Keating. One example is ‘sea ‘duairt sí – éist liom go fóill. It seems that this this is equivalent to is é rud aduairt sí – éist liom go fóill.

Type X, SVpPs: here the real subject comes first, and a pronoun refers back to it at the end. This is usually a case of a clunky subject clause. An t-arán a thabharfadsa uiam is é mo chuid feóla féin é chun beatha an domhain.


About djwebb2010

at the conservative end of the libertarian spectrum
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