Linguaphile wrote:It seems that it should normally be written with an en dash, not a comma, but the example you from Tammsaare had an additional appositional element (Vargamäe noor perenaine) in addition to the left dislocation so that may be the reason for the difference.
Yes, you might be right about the comma (that's beyond my knowledge too). And of course, I've seen this before with dashes. In fact, I think I've always been a bit confused by these strange objects that look like interpolated clauses but don't taste like ones. Whereas with a comma, it just feels like the most natural thing in the world. Well, I think i've just learnt how to use dashes in Estonian.
Still, Tammsaare's use of this construction seems unusual: it only indicates a very ordinary shift of topic. That's very French. (or maybe it's not that unusual? So far I've read mostly contemporary novels, so I can't really tell for the time of Tammsaare)