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Re: Irrealis mood and non-finite verbs

From:Christopher Bates <chrisdb@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 17:29
Ignore point (2), I wasn't sure enough to include it but forgot to
delete it.
> There is a book by D. N. S. Bhat called "The Prominence of Tense, > Aspect, and Mood". What the book claims is essentially that many > (most?) languages can be characterised as tense prominent, mood > prominent, or aspect prominent based on how obligatory and pervasive > the distinctions are. The author does allow for languages which are > not clearly any of the three, and admits that it is more a matter of > degree than a discrete classification, but he does claim that it's > still useful to classify many languages as being one of the three, and > that there are typology correlates of being tense, aspect, or mood > prominent. > > Anyway, this is actually going sometimes vaguely relevant to your > post. He also claims that many grammars written by Western (mostly > English speaking) linguists have a bias to interpret TAM distinctions > in terms of tense (and perhaps aspect). He argues that most languages > claimed to show a future vs non-future contrast in fact probably have > a realis vs irrealis contrast, and that so called "future" forms in > many of these languages can also be found in many irrealis, but > clearly not future, contexts (e.g. past wishes). > > (2) One of the typological correlates of mood prominence is a tendency to >> >> Where it exists, the distinction is shown by different prefixes >> and/or subject-markers on the verb. One language in another group >> (Mori), interestingly, shows it by using different forms of the >> subject pronouns, though I've seen that analyzed as simply a >> present/past vs. future distinction. >> >> My impression from some of the old (1930s) grammars of these and >> related languages, is that "realis/irrealis" kind-of gets short >> shrift, as if maybe the analysts weren't really too clear as to what >> is was all about ;-((((( I may be doing S.J.Esser (who wrote an >> extensive 2-vol. grammar of Mori) an injustice, however, as it was a >> quite a while ago that I read him. He also wrote brief grammars of >> the languages (or relatives) mentioned by van den Berg. >> >