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7 votes

Why do languages modify their words for different moods?

First things first: The concept of "grammatical mood", like the concept of "word", is one of those things that works great within a language (as a tool to make a particular theory/...
Draconis's user avatar
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6 votes

Which languages conflate (imperfective) past and irrealis, and why?

I suspect subjunctive merged with indicative in English simply due to phonetical reasons. Look at Old English: "I ate" (indicative) - Ic æt "I ate" (subjunctive) - Ic æte or "we beat" (...
Constantine Geist's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Explaining Grammatical "Mood" for the Laymen

First, a bit of background: "mood" in this sense is borrowed from *modus*, the Latin word used in certain ancient grammars. But then *modus* was also borrowed as "mode" via French, and now the two are ...
Draconis's user avatar
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5 votes

Do "imperative" and "declarative" belong to the same or different categories?

The mood applies to the verb in a clause, not to a sentence. English has a barely functional system of "moods", nearly all verbs are used in indicative (even in situations that plainly call ...
James K's user avatar
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3 votes

Why do languages modify their words for different moods?

Every time a language "decides" that it should be simpler to have discrete words to express ideas, somebody (the speakers) comes along and messes up the system, by creating idiosyncratic meanings ("...
user6726's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Do auxiliary verbs always express different aspect/mood/tense?

No, the use of auxiliaries is not directly linked to aspect, mood or tense in the first place. This may be so in some or many cases by coincidence when morphological or syntactic marking is not ...
Natalie Clarius's user avatar
3 votes

Do "imperative" and "declarative" belong to the same or different categories?

The first thing to do is say what "mood" is. Mood is a formal property of verbs forms (formal in the sense "the form of the verb") that signals modality. In other words, "mood&...
user6726's user avatar
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3 votes

Do "imperative" and "declarative" belong to the same or different categories?

"Mood" is a category that's been invented to describe how certain languages work. In some languages, it makes sense to analyze verbs this way. In others, it doesn't. Types of utterances, on ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes

Do auxiliary verbs always express different aspect/mood/tense?

No, auxiliary verbs don't always express something other than simple indicative. Yes, there are cases where a sentence with an auxiliary verb is in the simple indicative. For instance, "Hal is a ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
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2 votes

Cross-linguistic taxonomy of epistemic moods

Human languages aren't straightforward implementations of Mathematical Logic. In fact, it is often very painful to express Mathematical Logic using a human language, special terminology is needed to ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
2 votes

Which languages conflate (imperfective) past and irrealis, and why?

At least in my dialect of Spanish (Rioplatense) sometimes the imperfect past tense is used instead of both the subjunctive and the potential in conditional sentences (as exemplified below). This is ...
pablodf76's user avatar
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2 votes

Are there examples of phonetic mood markers at syllable/word boundaries?

German marks mood by umlaut, e. g. ich mag (indicative) > ich möge (subjunctive II) ich sehe (>preterite: sah) > ich sähe ich liege (> ich lag) > ich läge ich trage (> ich trug) > ich trüge, etc. ...
Abas's user avatar
  • 215
2 votes

Are there examples of phonetic mood markers at syllable/word boundaries?

Yes or no, depending on what exactly you are looking for. In most Bantu languages, tense etc. inflection for verbs involves adding certain tones. Verb inflection in Bantu covers all sorts of things, ...
user6726's user avatar
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2 votes

Tomorrow, he should pretend he *was* on a bus

This seems to be an extension of the so-called modal preterite (CGEL's term -- see StoneyB's comment on Pascal-Denis Lussier's answer), in which English constructions with irrealis semantics can take ...
TKR's user avatar
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2 votes

Which languages conflate (imperfective) past and irrealis, and why?

If I could address the Semitic part of your question: the Arabic past tense (al-māḍī; please note that this word actually does mean “past”) is used in principal clauses for actions in the past time, ...
fdb's user avatar
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2 votes

How are the meanings of "you will" in English formally categorized?

I don't know what you mean by "formally categorized" (and "official" is meaningless in this context). Will, like all modals, has a range of meanings, which broadly divide into ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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1 vote

Do auxiliary verbs always express different aspect/mood/tense?

A German counter-example is Er wird geschlagen where the auxilliary werden expresses the passive voice, but is clearly simple-indicative-present.
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
1 vote

Which language has the most types of irrealis moods?

In attempting to answer this question I think it's useful to distinguish between the terms 'mood' and 'modality': 'Modality' is the category of semantic notions relating to a speakers expression of ...
Gaston Ümlaut's user avatar

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