tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Dec 03 08:08:26 1993

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Re: realis/irrealis

On Nov 30, 11:39am, David Baron wrote:
>  Well, Okay I agree the tlhIngan Hol *MAYBE* needs a realis/irrealis 
>  demarker.  But untill that time it seems that most possiblities where
>  it is needed can be worked out within phrasing and/or context. 
> Example:
> "If the emperor agrees with me, you're a dead man."
>         muQochbe'chugh ta' vaj bIHegh
>  "If the emperor agreed with me, you would be a dead man."
>  bIDo'qu' muQochbe'pu'chugh ta' vaj bIHeghchoH
>  Or "You're very lucky, if the emperor agreed with me you'ld become dead."

     I've thought of several other ways to phrase this, but none address the
real grammatical question here. I wonder if the following would be enough:

               muQochbe'ta'chugh ta' vaj bIHeghpu'

     "If the empiror agreed with me then you died." Combining the conditional
with the past tense seems to offer me the sense of "would" that is lacking
explicitly from the language. If X happened, then Y happened. It follows that
Y would have to be unreal if we both know that in fact X did not happen.
Still, I can point out that if it had been true that X happened, then Y would
have happened as well. That is the only kind of meaning Y has left to it.
There may be no grammatical construction to redundantly confirm that Y is
"irrealis" (I think this was the original term). Still, the overall sentence
construction would suggest this irrealis meaning.

--   chargwI'

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