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Lo Sugzuntiv Selvesc - The Silvish Subjunctive
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The usage and meaning of the subjunctive mood
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 14 Jun 2016, 04:31.

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Menu 1. Els Cinc Us - The Five Uses 2. Distinzión Telia - Telic Distinction 3. Orde dellas Parabias - Word Order 4. Trendre ca … - To Be Afraid That … The Silvish subjunctive mood (mod sugzuntiv or mod congzuntiv closer to Italy) is used somewhat differently from other Romance languages. Notable features include 1) the contexts where it appears, 2) the development of a telicity distinction and 3) a distinctive word order. (The subjunctive conjugations can be found in "La Congzugagzón - Conjugation".)

[edit] [top]Els Cinc Us - The Five Uses

Traditional Silvish grammar divides the contexts where the subjunctive is used into five areas: Perancza, Besogna, Cuob, Istient and Andet.

Perancza - Desire
Viva lo rege. - Long live the king.
Te vuol ca m'agzovs. - I want you to help me.
M'à dit ca soriva. - He told me to smile

Besogna - Need
Te vèi ca corras. - You need to run.
Ó besogn ca corras. - I need you to run.

Cuob - Purpose
Son ó fait por c'èxa. - I did it so he would leave.

Istient - Extent
Iera tant felicz ca salt. - He was so happy that he danced.

Andet - Question
This category only involves indirect questions.
M'ès andada por sî mange. - She asked me if I had eaten/was eating.

[edit] [top]Distinzión Telia - Telic Distinction

The historical present subjunctive has come to mean that the subjunctive action was/will be successful. The imperfect subjunctive now means that the action may not be, or isn't, successful. Confusingly, Silvish grammarians and textbooks still refer to them as presènt and emparfait, though they have nothing to do with tense.

Presènt - Present
Lor ó dit c'èxan. - I told them to leave [and they did].

Emparfait - Imperfect
Lor ó dit c'ixissen. - I told them to leave [and they didn't].


These forms also allow for different levels of certainty and politeness, mainly when requesting something. Take the following translations of "I want you to help me":

Presènt: Te vuol ca m'agzovs.
This sentence ranges from neutral to informal. The present subjunctive means that the speaker expects the listener to help. It can come off as presumptuous in formal situations, so the imperfect normally replaces it then.

Emparfait: Te vuol ca m'agzovass.
This sentence can be used in most contexts. The imperfect subjunctive means either 1) that the speaker is unsure if the listener will help or 2) that the speaker thinks the listener will not help. It is preferred to the present in formal contexts.

[edit] [top]Orde dellas Parabias - Word Order

Word order in subjunctive clauses differs from that in indicative clauses. As a baseline, normal Silvish word order is SVO. In most subjunctive clauses, word order becomes SOV. The first-person singular of an -ar verb, like mangzar, demonstrates this effect well because its indicative and subjunctive forms are identical.

Indicativ - Indicative
M'as dit ca mange ne pèsc. - You told me that I was eating a peach.

Sugzuntiv - Subjunctive
M'as dit ca ne pèsc mange. - You told me to eat a peach.


In optative expressions (e.g. "Long live the king"), the word order changes in a different way, becoming VSO.

Indicativ
La miea madre à ne vid felici. - My mother has a happy life.

Sugzuntiv
Agza la miea madre ne vid felici. - May my mother have a happy life.

These shifts are formal, but not uncommon. They can be found in texts ranging from school essays to legislation, from scientific papers to novels. In informal contexts, subjunctive clauses are normally SVO, and optative expressions additionally begin with ca ("Ca la miea madre agza ne vid felici").

[edit] [top]Trendre ca … - To Be Afraid That …

There are a few expressions that don't fit the rules described above. One of these is trendre ca "to be afraid that". This construction requires the subjunctive. Below are two example sentences demonstrating its usage:

Presènt
Gzo trend ca viegna. - I'm afraid he won't come. / I worry that he won't come.

Emparfait
Gzo trend ca veness. - I'm afraid he might come. / I worry that he might come.

The present subjunctive indicates that the subject is afraid "he" won't come but wishes he would. The imperfect subjunctive has the opposite meaning, indicating the subject is afraid he will come and wishes he wouldn't.
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