Proto-Mila Coursebook Chapter 9
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Moods Part II and commands
This public article was written by garyberlin981, and last updated on 15 Feb 2015, 11:46.
[comments] pml Chapter 9 Moods Part II and commands
In Mila there is a way of expressing doubt or uncertainty as well as expressing personal opinions which may be different from others’ opinions. This is quite simply done by modifying the verbal base form. We need to add a final –p to the tense particle or base form of the verb. Although the form of this ‘subjunctive’ is simply expressed the exact times it is used is not always so simple.
If for example I am happy, I would say simply ‘Áphic’. If however we wish to express the feeling I guess I’m happy or I’m kind of happy containing an element of uncertainty, then this can be done by adding –p to the tense form (as with the negatives) ‘Ibá áphic’. Note that the stress is on the syllable containing the uncertainty.
If you wish to state that the room is cold we would simply translate the room is cold giving ‘Lúkpic pizán’. If however we wish to express that we feel the room is cold, but we want to check with others, so to translate something such as the room is cold, isn’t it? we would use ‘Lúkpic ibá pizán’.
To express a sentence such as You were a happy child we would translate this as ‘In púhcin látca’, but if we don’t know about the person’s childhood, but we are just guessing, this would be expressed as ‘Inbá púhcin látca’. It serves partly as a question, but it does not need an answer. If this remained unanswered then we can assume that this analysis is correct.
For the sentence I think the boy sang the song again we can use this form without needing to say I think as an extra clause, giving ‘Lídic rumám inrumlúp’. Again, notice that the subjunctive ending takes the stress.
We can also use this form in polite conversation. If we are talking to someone who is older than us or has higher social status then this form is used to make statements about the other person or general statements, but it is not needed for statements about ourselves.
So for example to say I am happy to someone else, without the –p ending would be a simple fact, but with the –p ending would be to express a level of uncertainty or lack of conviction.
If we say you are happy without the –p form, again it is used for a simple fact but may be understood as too direct, so the –p form adds a level of politeness. It is perfectly in order to use the form without –p amongst friends and to your subordinates or children if it is a fact, but if there is uncertainty or you are wishing to be polite then the –p form should be used.
If we say the sun is hot without the –p then this is a simple fact which everybody knows. If we are talking however to a teacher for example, though, we should use the –p form, not through uncertainty, but through respect for their higher knowledge. A teacher then would use the form without –p when teaching or presenting a new concept (even to people where ordinarily respect would be shown) but when recapping the teacher would use forms without –p only to those subordinate to the teacher, such as children or friends, whereas the form with the –p would be used as a mark of respect.
To express a command this is simply done by using a verb form as it appears within a dictionary. To say for example Be happy! we would have ‘Púhca!’ For Sing a song! we have ‘Rúma rúmla!’
For an added level of politeness we may add the –p ending which would change Sing a song! into Please could you sing a song! this later example being ‘Rúma rumlúp!’
If you wish to say Let’s go! then this can be done in a similar way. We would need the command form of go, being ‘lúhta’ but the sentence still necessarily needs a predicate which is the absent form, which then must agree with the first person plural, giving ‘ápta lúhta!’.