[tlhIngan Hol] {net jalchugh} and the various "then"

Rhona Fenwick qeslagh at hotmail.com
Thu May 2 02:46:30 PDT 2019


ghItlhpu' SuStel, jatlhpu':
> There is no grammatical subjunctive mood in Klingon.

ghIq chuHpu', jatlh:
> I say that, but actually there is: -jaj forms a subjunctive mood.

Being careful, of course, to distinguish "subjunctive" (as in, a more general term for counterfactual moods) from more classical meanings of subjunctive mood. More strictly, because it refers specifically to wishes or hopes but as far as we know not to other types of irrealis constructions (counterfactual conditionals, for instance) typically handled with subjunctives in other languages, Klingon -jaj marks the optative mood.

(Personally, I prefer to stick with "optative", but not for any other reason than that there's such inconsistency on the term "subjunctive" in linguistic literature on many European languages, primarily because of influence from grammatical descriptions of Latin (as freakin' usual). Latin lacks a distinct optative mood and uses what Latin grammarians referred to as the subjunctīvus - ironically, derived mostly from the optative in Proto-Indo-European, where it was distinct from the subjunctive - for wishes and hopes as well as for counterfactual conditionals, concessions, and a range of other functions.)

QeS 'utlh
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