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265Re: "Subjunctive"

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  • Hans
    Oct 4 12:54 PM
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      [OK, folks, let's bring this back to Tolkien's languages. CFH]

      --- In lambengolmor@y..., David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:

      > Germanic languages mostly employ the subjunctive for conditionals often
      > with an extra auxiliary (e.g. English _would_ or German_würde_).

      I'm sorry, David, but I have to disagree. The German "würde" is a
      modern development, following the general tendency of replacement of
      the older, strong inflections by analytical (or, as you call it,
      periphrastic) constructions. German still has two genuine subjunctives
      (I'm afraid they'll vanish within the next hundred years, though), "er
      komme/ er käme" in the case of the verb "to come". Most of the forms
      of subjunctive I are very similar to forms of indicative present
      tense, ok. But some are different, and it's interesting that one of
      the differences has parallels in other languages: "be it so" is "so
      sei es" in German, different from indicative "so ist es". In Italian,
      you would use "sia" for "sei".

      > Note that the Romanic languages' conditional is really a periphrastic
      > formation (e.g. comparare habebam etc.).

      That's not true for Italian. The conditional is much used to express
      wishes politely (not unlike German or English or some other languages!),
      but forms like "vorrai" (I would) are real inflections, not periphrastic
      constructions or agglutinations.

      > No explicit marker for the conditional is needed in Quenya.

      That's true, unfortunately. A language lacking a word for "if"
      certainly doesn't need a conditional.

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