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Re: Irrealis mood and non-finite verbs

From:ROGER MILLS <rfmilly@...>
Date:Friday, March 28, 2008, 17:54
David Peterson wrote:
> >The first claim is the connection between irrealis and non-finite >verbs (let's stick to verbs). In order to make sense of this, we >need to define "irrealis". *I* defined it for myself as something >that has not (or is not) actually happening. This would include >something happening in the future (even if it will definitely happen), >something that might have happened, something one wants to >happen, something that would have happened, etc.
I have realis/irrealis in Prevli-- that's pretty much the definition I used too, with the addition of : speaker has doubt about the accuracy of the statement. It's true that future tense statements can be ambiguous, but by fiat I decided that future/realis implies a definite committment, future/irr. leaves things up in the air. Perhaps: --When are you going to clean up your room? --I'll clean it this afternoon (future/real.) OR --Stop nagging, I'll do it (future/irreal.) ?? It also turns out that irrealis is required in most questions (that's probably idiosyncratic; I doubt if natlangs require it), on the theory that speaker is seeking information he doesn't (yet) know. Generally speaking, it seems that Prevli's irrealis is used pretty much like the subjunctive in Latin and Romance languages: after verbs of doubt, asking, fearing, thinking, et al. and of course in contrary-to-fact statements. (snips)> there does seem to be a connection
>between the non-real and non-finite verbs--
That seems to be true at least in some cases; I'm thinking of "I have to go" (realis, speaker has no choice in the matter) vs. "I ought to go" (irr, speaker may or may not act). Sentences like these use derived verbs in Prevli, so finite/non-finite doesn't enter into it. /ten+kóba+ka/ teNkovak 'I have to go' /bor+okbá+ka/ ought+go(irreal.)+1s borokfák 'I ought to go, should go' I'm hoping to have this all written up in semi-coherent form by the time my relay turn comes round in 10 days...........