MarcMacUilleim wrote:Surely comparing how things are expressed in Gaelic to how they are expressed in English is as pointless as comparing them to how they are expressed in any other language...?
Comparing one language to another is only pointless if it doesn't illuminate anything.
In the same way that a picture is worth a thousand words, an illustrative example is worth a thousand words of technical explanation. We can talk about "gender agreement", "dummy it" and "fronting" for hours without everybody getting the point, but demonstrating those principles with a clear example can sometimes make all the difference in understanding.
Here we have two points to demonstrate:
1) There is no agreement in the pronoun in fronting -- ie it's always "'s e", never "'s i" or "'s iad" -- and that's the same in English fronting (I came to see John -> It's John I came to see). English illuminates.
2) Whether there is agreement with the adverbial -- ie always "ann" vs "ann"/"innte"/"annta" -- depends on whether the "ann" means "here/there" or refers to the person.
In this case, the target phrase is "'S e Mòrag a th' ann" and that whole structure can be explaining either by all that above, or just by an English close tr*nsl*t**n: "it's Morag that's here/there". We wouldn't say exactly that in English, but it does quite nicely illustrate the reasons for the Gaelic structure.