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Uses of the Irrealis Mood
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subjunctive, optative, potential, etc.
This public article was written by Vulcanman, and last updated on 20 Apr 2017, 23:21.

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20. Verbs
Menu 1. Overview 2. Colloquial Usage 3. Literary and Formal Usage
[top]Overview


The irrealis mood is a form of the verb that indicates that an action is not known to have occurred, or there is some doubt that it will occur. In Modern Shikathi, the irrealis mood is slowly being supplanted by the gerund. Even still, it is used often enough to be taught in Shikathi schools. Although it is used less often in colloquial speech, it is seen extensively in literary contexts and it is even heard in formal sectors of society that require a higher register of speech (i.e. business, government, military when addressing anyone of a different rank). It is also used for special ceremonies (i.e. coming-of-age rites, first contact situations, treaties, etc.)

To form the irrealis mood, use the following verbalizers: aren (from akām), lātren (from lator), oren (from ekrō). Go here for a brief overview of verbalizers in general and how to use them. Additionally, there are the irrealis forms of the pro-verbs listed here.

We can divide the usage of the irrealis mood between colloquial and literary/formal.




[top]Colloquial Usage


▼ Imperative / Jussive



▼ Conditional



▼ Hypothetical-Doubtful



▼ Wherever / Whenever / Whoever / Whatever



▼ May / Might



▼ Idiomatic Expressions





[top]Literary and Formal Usage


The Literary/Formal usage of the irrealis includes all cases as listed above as well as the rules listed below. It's important to remember that the irrealis usage outlined below is only applicable in certain cultural settings where a degree of formality is required. To use it outside of such settings would be considered pretentious. In informal settings, the gerund is used in place of the irrealis. In the examples, I will compare the formal with the informal.

A couple of general guidelines:

-For all of the rules below, the irrealis pro-verb kaenm / kaenl / kaene (that / which) is used.
-Remember that in order to use a pro-verb, the subject in the main clause must be different from the subject in the subordinate clause, otherwise use the gerund.


▼ Hopes, Wishes, Recommendations, Desires, Dreams


▼ Possibility, Probability, Potential



▼ Denial / Impossibility / Improbability



▼ Doubt


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