The enclitic particle -ne can be used to form a binary (yes/no) question. I would like to know how attaching it to different words changes the meaning of the question. I have a clear idea of how it should behave, but that may well be because this is exactly how the Finnish enclitic -ko/-kö works, so I want confirmation from someone without a Finn's bias.
This is my idea:
The question concerns the word -ne is attached to. For example, consider these questions related to Gaius cum Marco loquitur:
- Loquiturne Gaius cum Marco? — Does Gaius speak with Marcus? (The question is whether speaking takes place.)
- Gaiusne loquitur cum Marco? — Is Gaius the one who speaks with Marcus? (The question is whether Gaius is the one who speaks.)
- Cum Marcone loquitur Gaius? — Is Marcus the one Gaius speaks with? (The question is whether Marcus is the one spoken to.)
(For some reason I prefer to put the word with -ne towards the beginning of the sentence.) It is most common to attach -ne to the predicate, and it does change the meaning to put it elsewhere. Here is another set of examples:
- Legisne librum bonum? — Are you reading a good book?
- Bonumne librum legis? — Is the book you are reading good? Or maybe: Are you reading a good (with emphasis) book?
- Librumne bonum legis? — I don't seem to be able to parse this as naturally. Perhaps: Are you reading a good book (emphatically, as opposed to watching a good movie)?