This may be a pretty unusual sentence, but I am curious to get some feedback on how it should be constructed, to improve clarity. The sentence is:

And, time, it never did me the favor of fully folding back in on itself to meet me.

Should the word "time" be offset from the sentence by two commas, like it is? Would this be considered a direct address? I don't think it is an appositive. I don't think no commas on either side is correct, and I'm pretty sure only one comma and either side wouldn't work either. Appreciate the feedback

Note : I'm aware that, for clarity's sake, it could be rewritten as "Time never did me the favor...", but this is a stylistic preference

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    I'd consider the comma after 'And' very dubious. There needs to be some puctuation after 'time' before the subject-restating 'it'. A comma is fine, but I'd probably choose the more heavyweight dash on most days. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 14 '19 at 10:33

In Language Typology and Syntactic Description: Volume 1, Clause Structure edited by Timothy Shopen an article by WA Foley and R D Van Valin Jr [p 300] contains:

  1. Teheran, I don’t care for much.
  2. Trevor, I haven’t seen today.
  3. As for Alan’s car, he tried to drive it today.
  4. That paper, it was a total loss.
  5. As for the wombat, it eats roots, shoots and leaves.

This presents examples of two types of construction. 1 & 2 are topicalizations while 3, 4 & 5 are left-dislocations. The difference is that in left-dislocations but not in topicalizations there is a pronoun in the clause that refers back to the clause-initial NP.
[re-formatted so as not to leave jagged edges]

The presence of the comma is common to all. I’d consider the comma in the OSV sentences 1 and 2 optional, or rather context-informed (eg Sun Fredricko and Les Andeles I love, but Elbonia I don’t care for much).

However, some punctuation is necessary in the left-dislocation examples. A comma will suffice and is usual, but for a greater dramatic pause, a dash can be used.

Example 4 corresponds to the original sentence here (without the sentence-connecting 'And').

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  • These are really awesome examples. I think this pretty closely answers my question. Thank you! – Bryan Maxwell Dec 15 '19 at 9:32

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