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Re: "Subjunctive"

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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