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Re: "Subjunctive"

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  • Hans
    ... Indeed, that s the source of the misunderstanding. Russian is a highly inflected language, but it doesn t distinguish between conditional and subjunctive.
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 3, 2002
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      --- In lambengolmor@y..., Boris Shapiro <elenhil@p...> wrote:

      > I think that's where misunderstanding is. In Russian, constructions like
      > E. "let it be" are imperative rather than subjunctive, and subjunctive
      > constructions are for the most part conditional ("[subj] by [pred] esli";

      Indeed, that's the source of the misunderstanding. Russian is a highly
      inflected language, but it doesn't distinguish between conditional and
      subjunctive. Both moods are indicated by the particle "by", analytically.
      But there's a difference: "conditional" means that the truth of your
      statement depends on conditions, while subjunctive indicates your
      faith: you use subjunctive I if you think it possible, and subjunctive
      II if you don't. Unfortunately, subjunctive is rudimentary in English
      (most forms of subjunctive I coincide with indicative present tense,
      and most forms of subjunctive II coincide with indicative past tense).
      If you want to see a working system with one conditional and two
      subjunctives, look at Italian.

      Hans
    • Ben Echols
      Hans wrote: H If you want to see a working system with one conditional and two H subjunctives, look at Italian. Another example is Spanish. It has one
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 3, 2002
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        Hans wrote:

        H> If you want to see a working system with one conditional and two
        H> subjunctives, look at Italian.

        Another example is Spanish. It has one conditional verb tense and two
        subjunctives.

        Ben Echols
      • David Kiltz
        ... Ben, I m not sure what you mean by one conditional and two subjunctives . Spanish (like every West-Romanic language, including, e.g. French) has a
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 4, 2002
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          On Thursday, October 3, 2002, at 10:03 PM, Ben Echols wrote:

          > Hans wrote:
          >
          > H> If you want to see a working system with one conditional and two
          > H> subjunctives, look at Italian.
          >
          > Another example is Spanish. It has one conditional verb tense and two
          > subjunctives.

          Ben, I'm not sure what you mean by "one conditional" and "two
          subjunctives". Spanish (like every West-Romanic language,
          including, e.g. French) has a category "subjunctive" and one
          "conditional". Both occur in two forms:

          Conditional 1) compraría
          Conditional 2) habría comprado

          Subjunctive 1) (que) compre
          Subjunctive 2) comprara or comprase (note: the first goes back to the
          Latin pluperfect and is also sometimes used as such, especially in
          South America).

          Germanic languages mostly employ the subjunctive for conditionals often
          with an extra auxiliary (e.g. English _would_ or German_würde_).
          So, for conditionals, where they are distinguished from subjunctives,
          we see periphrastic or agglutinative formations. Note that the Romanic
          languages' conditional is really a periphrastic formation (e.g.
          comparare habebam etc.).

          No explicit marker for the conditional is needed in Quenya. Cf.
          VT42:33, in the bottom most paragraph, starting from _lá karita i
          hamil..._.

          David Kiltz
        • Hans
          [OK, folks, let s bring this back to Tolkien s languages. CFH] ... I m sorry, David, but I have to disagree. The German würde is a modern development,
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 4, 2002
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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.

            Hans
          • Ben Echols
            [I m letting this through, but in general, follow-up messages of this sort, basically simply acknowledging a correction, will not be accepted on this list. Any
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 4, 2002
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              [I'm letting this through, but in general, follow-up messages of this
              sort, basically simply acknowledging a correction, will not be accepted
              on this list. Any such response should be made in conjunction with
              offering new information on the question at hand. Otherwise, make your
              acknowledgments privately. CFH]

              I never learned the other conditional. I am sorry for the mistake, I know
              about the two different ways to do subjunctive. I am not a native speaker
              of spanish, however I have been taking spanish classes for 4 years and
              have been to spanish countries. But thanks for the information, you learn
              something new everyday. :)

              Ben Echols
            • Hans
              ... Er... yeah, I m afraid this is a well-deserved rebuke. [I wouldn t call it a rebuke , just a reminder that posts to this list are, according to the
              Message 6 of 12 , Oct 4, 2002
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                --- In lambengolmor@y..., "Hans" <gentlebeldin@h...> wrote:
                > [OK, folks, let's bring this back to Tolkien's languages. CFH]

                Er... yeah, I'm afraid this is a well-deserved rebuke.

                [I wouldn't call it a "rebuke", just a reminder that posts to this list
                are, according to the guidelines, supposed to deal in some manner with
                Tolkien's languages. That by no means excludes discussion of grammatical
                features of other languages for purposes of comparison or illustration
                or even speculation; but each such discussion should touch on Tolkien's
                languages at some point. When we start _debating_ the grammatical
                features of other languages, and comparing them to one another, we're
                drifting off course. CFH]

                Quenya may not have a conditional, but it's well known that JRRT thought
                of a subjunctive once. Now the English subjunctive II is almost identical
                with forms of past tense, and the German forms are close, too (though
                with umlaut). Interestingly, the Quenya word glossed as a subjunctive
                ("should flow", IX:247) coincides with an (augmentless) perfect,
                "ullier", forms usually translated by JRRT with past tense. Of course,
                that's one of the cases of later reinterpretations. In "Lost Road",
                the word "ullier" was glossed "poured" (V:51). Nonetheless, there
                can't be much doubt JRRT thought of a subjunctive later: the Adunaic
                forms in the Notion Club Papers were meant to be translations of the
                "Avallonian" ones, and the respective word _du-phursâ_ is glossed
                "so-as-to-gush" (IX:247, again), and that's certainly not an
                indicative mood.

                Hans
              • David Kiltz
                -I m sorry if this is drifting away from Quenya but my response will (hopefully) set some things straight. This will ultimately be beneficial for the
                Message 7 of 12 , Oct 6, 2002
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                  -I'm sorry if this is drifting away from Quenya but my response will
                  (hopefully) set some things straight. This will ultimately be
                  beneficial for the discussion of the Quenya forms.

                  On Friday, October 4, 2002, at 09:54 PM, Hans wrote:

                  > --- 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,
                  > "er komme/ er käme" in the case of the verb "to come".
                  <snip>

                  Hans, but that's exactly what I said. Germanic languages (such as
                  German, even Modern German ;-) do use the subjunctive. In addition,
                  formations with an auxiliary arise. (Certainly with the idea of
                  disambiguating). I don't see how this is not "Germanic" although it is
                  a younger formation (which I never denied).

                  >> 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.

                  1) Your analysis of the form is factually wrong. Even Italian _vorrai_
                  is ultimately _velle_ (or rather Proto-Romanic _volere_) + habui. The
                  only difference between Italian and Spanish is that Italian uses the
                  perfect as second part, Spanish the imperfect. By "really" I meant
                  "originally".

                  2) The semantics are irrelevant to the question of periphrasis or not.
                  I never said they weren't employed like that.

                  >> 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.

                  Well, Tolkien writes that "if this uncertainty [i.e. a conditional
                  proposition for the future] is emphasized Quenya can say _nauva_ "will
                  be". So, Quenya does not require a specific marker if the semantics of
                  the sentence are clear.

                  It would be interesting to see whether the _-uva_ forms are a "pure"
                  future tense or rather some kind of prospective.

                  David
                • Lukas Novak
                  David Kiltz wrote: DK It would be interesting to see whether the _-uva_ forms are a pure DK future tense or rather some kind of prospective. I have been
                  Message 8 of 12 , Oct 6, 2002
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                    David Kiltz wrote:

                    DK> It would be interesting to see whether the _-uva_ forms are a "pure"
                    DK> future tense or rather some kind of prospective.

                    I have been having this impression for already a long time. More
                    specifically, I suspect that the -uva formation is originally
                    prospective/optative and only one of its usages evolved into pure
                    future. I imagine that Tolkien might have been inspired by the origin
                    of Greek future tense or English usage of the auxiliary "will" -
                    originally a modal verb.

                    Lukas
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