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Copula Confusion

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:19 pm
by AlexAkimov
My understanding is that if you want to link two nouns or a noun/pronoun you must use the copula form of 'To Be' i.e.

'S e oidhche bhrèagha a th' ann - It is a lovely night.

However, in having a wander through the beginner lessons on weather phrases on LearnGaelic they have instead written:

Tha oidhche bhrèagha ann

Have to say that has completely thrown me. They have used the Bi form of 'To Be' to link a noun and a pronoun when I didn't think this was allowed. Instead to use the Bi form I thought you'd need to say:

Tha an oidhche bhrèagha - The night is lovely.

...to make sure there is only one noun.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how/why LearnGaelic has been able to use the phrase they did? Not saying it's wrong, just don't understand the construct they've used.

Copula Confusion

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:19 pm
by jeltzz
The construction is different.

Tha oidhche bhrèagha ann.

Here oidhche bhrèagha is our subject, 'a lovely night'. And ann in this kind of sentence is working with Tha to express what English would do with word-order, "There is a lovely night".

So, it's a way of something something 'is there' (but not in a directional sense), or 'exists', with ann. It's very common. Some people call it 'existential ann' - you are using ann to simply say that "X is", rather than "X is Y".

Copula Confusion

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:57 am
by AlexAkimov
Yep, I think what confused me was that the LearnGaelic (and other places) colloquial spin of:

Tha oidhche bhrèagha ann

...adds in a pronoun which doesn't actually exist (it). Therefore you end up with a Copula sounding result (X is a Y) without it actually being a Copula.

Copula Confusion

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:05 pm
by jeltzz
In English, "It's a lovely night" involves a 'dummy pronoun'. Similarly, "It is raining". Think about it for a moment, what's the "It" that is raining? This is a feature of impersonal constructions (though the linguistics gets complicated and is debated). But basically in English you have to insert (and front) an "it" subject for some expressions.

Colloquial translations are great, you just need to remember that they're colloquial, not attempts to replicate a grammatical structure per se.

Copula Confusion

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:12 pm
by AlexAkimov
Hah, that's a good point I'd never paused to consider > It is raining - what indeed is "it" referring to?

Copula Confusion

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:50 pm
by akerbeltz
Have to say that has completely thrown me. They have used the Bi form of 'To Be' to link a noun and a pronoun when I didn't think this was allowed.
Incidentally, ann is a preposition, not a pronoun. Maybe that's what threw you?

Copula Confusion

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:08 pm
by AlexAkimov
akerbeltz wrote:
Incidentally, ann is a preposition, not a pronoun. Maybe that's what threw you?
Aidh, on reflection that was a bad description. I do know the difference between the two, honest! My point was simply that I was confused by the tr*nsl*t**n which included "it". I couldn't actually see where an "it" was. Perhaps I then assumed it was somehow in the ann. Dunno.

...ach tha mi a' tuigsinn a-nis :D

ps. why is tr*nsl*t**n being mucked up by your swear filter??

Copula Confusion

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:13 pm
by akerbeltz
ps. why is tr*nsl*t**n being mucked up by your swear filter??
it's to discourage Google from finding this place for people looking for a free tr*nsl*t**n.

Copula Confusion

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:47 pm
by AlexAkimov
:lol:

Copula Confusion

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:54 am
by GunChleoc
It is the only word in your swear filter, actually. People generally know how to behave themselves here, and we do want people to be able to ask how to call body parts etc. in Gaelic - those are legitimate questions.

Back on topic - you should find this page useful: http://akerbeltz.org/index.php?title=Ex ... efore_I_am

Copula Confusion

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:48 pm
by AlexAkimov
What is the ' replacing in 'na and 'nam?

Copula Confusion

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:06 am
by faoileag
tha i 'na draibhear bus an-dràsda ach 's e banaltram a tha innte she is a bus driver now but she really is a nurse
tha e 'na oileanach ach chan e oileanach a tha ann he is a student but he isn't a student
The N is the tail-end of ann, attached to mo, do etc. "in my" (The na is also written without the apostrophe.)

I am "in my driver", I am in driver mode, I am currently a driver - temporary, not my true vocation.

He is in student mode, he is pro forma a student, that's what he currently labels himself as - but he's not really, deep down, a student - he's not someone who really studies with conviction.

Related to:

Tha mi nam chadal, tha mi nam shuidhe
I am asleep, I am sitting - in my sleeping, in my sitting = current state