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Re: Irrealis mood and non-finite verbs

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Monday, March 31, 2008, 20:07
My understanding is that the optative is restricted to non-factual
conditions being wished for/desired/etc, while the subjunctive is for
all the other things we're lumping into "irrealis" here.  But I
haven't ever studied Greek, so I could be completely wrong.

On 3/31/08, Campbell Nilsen <cactus95@...> wrote:
> Could anybody explain the exact difference between the subjunctive and > optative? This confused me in Greek class... > > > "Define 'cynical'."-M. Mudd > > > > > > ----- Original Message ---- > From: R A Brown <ray@...> > To: > Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2008 11:20:40 AM > Subject: Re: Irrealis mood and non-finite verbs > > Lars Finsen wrote: > > Den 29. mar. 2008 kl. 23.11 skreiv R A Brown: > > > >> For example, while many uses of the subjunctive in Latin tend toward > >> the irrealis pole, not all do so. For example, it is used for _all_ > >> subordinate clauses in reported speech, irrespective of what evidence > >> the writer and/or speaker may or may not have for the veracity of the > >> statement. > > > > That's why it's called subjunctive, isn't it? > > Not merely that, but because it's used in these subordinate clauses and > in other subordinate clauses such as adverbial clauses of purpose, of > result/consequence ('consecutive clauses'), and so on. The Latin > subjunctive is used mainly (tho, of course, not entirely) in various > types of subordinate clauses. Hence, as you observe, it got its name. > > > The subjunctive in many IE languages is, if I'm not mistaken, a merger > > of a former subjunctive and an optative, > > This is certainly so in Latin and, I feel sure, it is indeed so in many > other IE langs, as you say. > > > which is a more specialised irrealis mood. > > yes, it was used for wishes, desires. Certainly not events or situations > that were are had been real in the real world. One could, of course, > distinguish between wished that are possible or realizable and those > that cannot be realized, cf. > I wish he might arrive tomorrow ~ I wish the moon was made of cheese. > > Both could be expressed by the optative mood in ancient Greek. > > This is the case with Urianian, for example. But doesn't > > Latin have an optative still? (Forgive me, I'm not an expert in Latin.) > > Nope - it was merged with the subjunctive at some pre-Latin period. The > subjunctives such as - sim, sis &c (<-- esse 'to be'), velim, velis etc > (<-- velle 'to wish, want' - are remnants of old optative forms. > > -- > Ray > ================================== > > ================================== > Frustra fit per plura quod potest > fieri per pauciora. > [William of Ockham] >
-- Sent from Gmail for mobile | Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>


R A Brown <ray@...>