I'm finding the explanation of nara in Genki II very confusing..
I've understood nara as a conditional (in league with tara, and ba), sort of a variant of "if this were to be"..
Genki describes it as such:
"(noun) nara (predicate) = (predicate) applies only to (noun)"
"nara introduces a sentence that says something "positive" about the item that is contrasted."
I don't quite understand what they mean, but they gave two examples. First one, they label as "contrast" and the second they label as "limitation" (also confusing to me..?)
1) Q: ブラジルに行ったことがありますか？ A: チリなら行ったことがありますが、ブラジルは行ったことがありません。
2) Q: 日本語がわかりますか？ A: ひらがなならわかります。
Thinking back to the particle "wa", I learned that it sort of implies "on the topic of NOUN, something something (predicate)". After reading some other explanations that equate nara closer to "if", I began to understand nara to function sort of like a conditional "wa"...
"Have you ever been to Brazil?" "If we're talking about Chile, then I've been there, but I haven't been to Brazil."
"Do you understand Japanese?" "If we're talking about hiragana, then I understand."
So if we used "wa" then it would sound like "On the topic of Chile, I've been there" or "As for Hiragana, I understand." but using nara makes it sound conditional like "IF we are talking of Chile, then I've been" or "If we're talking about Hiragana specifically, then yes, I understand"
I'm wondering if I've got this correct, or if I'm missing the point..
I also wondered if maybe there's an implication of "only" that comes with nara..
"Have you ever been to Brazil?" "If we're ONLY talking about Chile, then I've been there, but I haven't been to Brazil (or any other place)."
"Do you understand Japanese?" "If we're ONLY talking about hiragana, then I understand (but I don't understand any other form of Japanese)."
Which is correct? Can someone explain the usage that Genki II is referring to in a simple layman way.