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irrealis [was Re: "Newbie"]

From:Garth Wallace <gwalla@...>
Date:Sunday, January 11, 2004, 1:42
Jan van Steenbergen wrote:
> > The imperative is usually treated as a mood. More difficult to place is the > irrealis, which has something in common with both mood and time period.
According to Palmer in _Mood and Modality_, irrealis is 100% mood (and Realis/Irrealis is the most fundamental modal distinction). It's just that events in the future haven't happened yet, so they're by definition notionally Irrealis--languages with realis/irrealis mood markings tend to mark future verbs as irrealis for that reason--but Irrealis really means a lack of assertion of reality, and isn't time reference. Or at least that's my understanding.