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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug 2022 4:43 pm 
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Hi! The previous question I asked (which everyone cleared up wonderfully for me :D ) led me to realize I have a couple other questions about I slightly different topic:

1) I know that identification clauses with a superlative can be formed using bí + ar, instead of the copula…
Example: an fear sin ar an nduine is láidre sa bhaile. (That man is the strongest person in town.)

2) While that construction may be common (and perhaps even preferable in some cases), I want to be sure I’m using it as a choice & not a crutch; so I want to be sure I’m also comfortable with the copular format. I know how to do this in most cases…
Examples: Is mise an bhean is tapa ar an bhfoireann. (I’m the fastest woman on the team.)
Is é Pól an fear is láidre sa bhaile. (Paul is the strongest man in town…but, since it’s an identification clause involving a personal name, the name was placed in the predicate position, and it’s technically/literally “The fastest man in town is Paul.”)

3) And I think third person pronoun ID clauses (thanks to the awesome help I got on my previous question) can correctly be formatted in two different ways. For example, “She is the fastest woman on the team,” can be either…
a) Is í an bhean í is tapa ar an bhfoireann. Or…
b) Is í an bhean is tapa ar an bhfoireann í.

4) But I’m a little hazy on constructions where the x = the y. When I write it down the way the standard construction goes, it feels a bit off…but maybe I’m overthinking it?
Examples: Is é an duine is láidre sa bhaile an fear sin. (“That man is the strongest person in town.”…with “that man” as the literal subject and “the strongest person in town” as the literal predicate.)

Would a statement like that be correct? Maybe not preferable, but technically correct? I put it through Google Translate to try to confirm, but it says that that sentence means, “The strongest person in town is that man”…but that seems incorrect since I clearly put “an fear sin” in the subject position, not the predicate position.

Thanks to anyone who can help me out! Sorry my question’s so long. I just really want to thoroughly understand this stuff. :wave:

P.S. I believe a cleft construction is also possible here for emphasis?…
An duine is láidre sa bhaile atá an fear sin. (That man is the strongest person in town.)
Is láidre sa bhaile atá an fear sin. (That man is the strongest in town.)
Is láidre atá an fear sin ná Pól. (That man is stronger than Pól.)


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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug 2022 7:34 pm 
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Rosie_Oleary wrote:
4) But I’m a little hazy on constructions where the x = the y. When I write it down the way the standard construction goes, it feels a bit off…but maybe I’m overthinking it?
Examples: Is é an duine is láidre sa bhaile an fear sin. (“That man is the strongest person in town.”…with “that man” as the literal subject and “the strongest person in town” as the literal predicate.)

First it would be "ar an mbaile", not "sa bhaile". I won't go into the details on that here. Aside from that it's fine.

It's worth noting that had subject and predicate been reversed it would often be expressed as:
'Sé an fear san (an té) is láidre ar an mbaile

The an té might be left implied, as generic parts of long subjects often are. By generic I mean that often long subjects involve some placeholder noun like an rud or an duine or an té followed by a relative. Such nouns are often left unsaid.

I'll just note that naturally in conversation I'd probably say:
'Sé an fear is láidre ar an bpobal é

Irish tends to be more explicit, for lack of a better term, than English. Strictly he is the strongest among the people of the town. English tends to say less about the obvious context of a sentence. So we would all know that "strongest in the town" means "the strongest person in the town". Irish will usually be more explicit.
In addition almost certainly the relevant man will have already been the topic of conversation. This being indicated by his being the subject of the copula. Thus é would be sufficient.

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug 2022 9:48 pm 
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Go raibh maith agat, a Chara! :D You explained that exactly how I needed to hear it! :good:


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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug 2022 9:57 pm 
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An Lon Dubh, what do you think of the placement of the final é in 'Sé an fear is láidre ar an bpobal é?

Rosie was asking this, and I feel the é should go at the end. Why not 'sé an fear é is láidre ar an bpobal?

I think it may partly depend on the length of the noun phrase. You can feasibly say "an fear is láidre ar an bpobal" as a single phrase in a single breath pause, and so there is no need to move the é anywhere else. Presumably the more clunky and unwieldy the phrase is, the more likely you can't just poke é at the end. It is better to have the é at the end, if you can, but it has to come after a single phrase that is understood as the predicate without causing confusion. I think?

[Let me add that placement of the second é either at the end or earlier would both be correct.]


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PostPosted: Sun 07 Aug 2022 3:16 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
I think it may partly depend on the length of the noun phrase. You can feasibly say "an fear is láidre ar an bpobal" as a single phrase in a single breath pause, and so there is no need to move the é anywhere else. Presumably the more clunky and unwieldy the phrase is, the more likely you can't just poke é at the end. It is better to have the é at the end, if you can, but it has to come after a single phrase that is understood as the predicate without causing confusion. I think?

That would be my understanding. In this case the predicate is short enough to say in one go and so it probably would just be said in its entirety. Although a predicate like this is probably the upper limit on the length one could have before the predicate would be split.
If it needs to split you are correct that the part of the predicate before the subject would have to be something that can be understood clearly and establishes the type of item/concept/etc that the predicate relates to, e.g. an fear, an tsráid.

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2022 1:16 pm 
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Rosie_Oleary wrote:

P.S. I believe a cleft construction is also possible here for emphasis?…
An duine is láidre sa bhaile atá an fear sin. (That man is the strongest person in town.)
Is láidre sa bhaile atá an fear sin. (That man is the strongest in town.)
Is láidre atá an fear sin ná Pól. (That man is stronger than Pól.)


None of those is possible - 'tá' can't be used in any of them. According to 'Graiméar Gaeilge na mBráithre Criostaí' an identification sentence can be made emphatic by expressing 'Is é x...' as 'x is é...', as djwebb has done in your other thread - although in Munster it isn't really seen as emphatic. So I assume 'An duine is láidre ar an bhaile is é an fear sin' is possible.
To make the comparative in your third one emphatic you could say, I think:
'(Is) níos láidre ná Pól atá an fear sin/atá an fear sin ná Pól'.


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PostPosted: Sat 13 Aug 2022 8:09 pm 
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Ah! Thank you to all 3 of you! Very helpful info on the placement of “é” depending on the length of the predicate! :D I guess that’s something that will come intuitively over time, and can be “felt out” case-by-case.

And thank you for the correction, Errigal! I think I totally understand now. :good:


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