I just encountered the topic-comment structure in Chinese, as I am learning multiple languages (cross-linguistics, for a fantasy language book-writing project). The examples in that link are all relatively simple:
熊猫我以前见过。 Xióngmāo wǒ yǐqián jiàn guò. I’ve seen a panda before. Literally, “Panda, I before have seen.”
The last line, the thing before the comma is usually one or two words in English, most complex example was "paper napkin":
餐巾纸有没有？ Cānjīnzhǐ yǒu méiyǒu? Do you have a paper napkin? Literally, “Paper napkin, (you) have or not?”
How is this pattern typically used in the following cases:
1. Long adjectives in the topic
- I am eating an extremely rich and tasty cookie.
- Lit. Extremely rich and tasty cookie, I am eating. (Something like that?)
2. Long sentences with logic
- A long time ago before the devastating flood, we used to go out and eat delicious homemade meals at the animal-filled farm.
- What is the topic here? How do you apply to a sentence like this?
3. Multiple topics at once?
- The storm threw tons of fish onto the boat, which we ate.
- Is "fish" the topic or "storm" or "boat"?
- We ran a mile at the olympics in under 5 minutes while everyone was cheering.
- Is "ran a mile" the topic, or cheering? Can you choose what the topic is and change it depending on emphasis?
4. What if you have multiple topics?
- We quickly ran a mile after school and then slowly walked until we encountered the forest.
- ran a mile is probably the first topic, and walked the second topic?
Basically, how do you apply the topic-comment pattern in more complex situations such as these?
Note: please write the literal gloss in English, and ideally include the pinyin, if you opt into also writing in Chinese script. It is very helpful to have the literal English gloss as a new Chinese learner, I can't read the straight Chinese script fully yet. Having the 4 lines like the examples above is really helpful.