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151906Re: Irrealis mood and non-finite verbs

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  • Christopher Bates
    Apr 2, 2008
      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.
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