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Thread: Subjunctive

  1. #21
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    Re: Subjunctive

    There is a risk (inevitable, unfortunately), of cross-dialogues confusing us; So, this is:
    Response to Post #15
    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    It wasn't the authorities cited that failed to sway my opinion, [...] but rather the way in which their ideas were presented that had me somewhat lost, and in need of clarification (especially where you interpreted Chalker's words on the mandative subjunctive).
    I wrote:

    "Chalker: [...] especially in BrE, it [= the mandative subjunctive] can be replaced by a should-construction.

    Chalker's use of replaced by suggests to me that she does not consider a should-construction to be a subjunctive form."

    I have re-read that, and can't see the problem. If A can be replaced by B, then B is not A. Chalker implies that a should-construction is not a mandative subjunctive. If that's still not clear, please tell me what part is not clear, and I'll try again.
    Last edited by 5jj; 04-Dec-2010 at 17:17. Reason: reference corrected

  2. #22
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    Re: Subjunctive

    Response to #18
    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    Referenced, yes, but solid and logical, it wasn't (at least not to me).
    Fine. If you point out any parts that you found illogical, please tell me. I'll try to straighten out any problems.
    I'm still working on trying to understand why you would use italics to do that (wouldn't using italics confuse the reader, especially if the reader didn't know what the italics were meant to represent?)
    I was simply attempting to highlight those words.

  3. #23
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    Re: Subjunctive

    Response to #19, #20

    #19. As I understand it, Corum (and please correct me if I am wrong in this), you are agreeing that was in if I was you is not subjunctive, and that verbs in a clause with 'possibly/perhaps/reportedly/etc' are not subjunctive, but saying that should is subjunctive.

    Before I say more on that, perhaps you could confirm whether or not I have understood you correctly.

    #20. it is not clear to me whether the question mark at the end is a typo or you are asking a question. Could you please clarify?.

    Thank you

  4. #24
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    Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Response to #19, #20

    #19. As I understand it, Corum (and please correct me if I am wrong in this), you are agreeing that was in if I was you is not subjunctive, and that verbs in a clause with 'possibly/perhaps/reportedly/etc' are not subjunctive, but saying that certain uses of should is subjunctive.
    That is correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    it is not clear to me whether the question mark at the end is a typo or you are asking a question. Could you please clarify?
    Rhethorical question.

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Zero inflection (unchanged form) necessarily means that no resort has been made to the subjunctive conjugational system?
    =

    Does the unchanged form always mean that...?
    With this I am trying to create a possibly rather weak persuasive effect with the implication that from form we can rarely jump to an indisputable conclusion about subjunctivity.
    Last edited by corum; 04-Dec-2010 at 22:47.

  5. #25
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    Re: Subjunctive

    I'll have to sleep on that. Back tomorrow,

  6. #26
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    Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    There is a risk (inevitable, unfortunately), of cross-dialogues confusing us; So, this is:
    Response to Post #15
    I wrote:

    "Chalker: [...] especially in BrE, it [= the mandative subjunctive] can be replaced by a should-construction.

    Chalker's use of replaced by suggests to me that she does not consider a should-construction to be a subjunctive form."
    (We don't really know what Chalker 'considers' given that her words are interpreted, not quoted.)

    What we do know is that the mandative subjunctive has an alternative, putative 'should', also called mandative 'should', 'a periphrastic alternant to the non-inflected subjunctive (ref)'. What's unclear is whether 'alternative' and 'alternant' mean variant, that is, that 'should' expresses the subjunctive mood. According to somebody, it does (Note, I can't seem to find the original source for this):

    The subjunctive mood can be expressed using the modal verbs 'shall' (should) and 'may' (might).
    :
    ★ '''Should the teacher come', I will speak with him.''

  7. #27
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    Re: Subjunctive

    Response to #26:

    Lauralie: (We don't really know what Chalker 'considers' given that her words are interpreted, not quoted.)

    Fivejedjon: I wrote, “Chalker goes on to say (of the mandative subjunctive): [...] especially in BrE, it can be replaced by a should-construction”.

    The words in blue are quoted directly from Chalker.

    As far as interpretation is concerned, I wrote (emphasis in bold added): Chalker's use of replaced by suggests to me that she does not consider a should-construction to be a subjunctive form.

    Lauralie: What we do know is that the mandative subjunctive has an alternative, putative 'should', also called mandative 'should', 'a periphrastic alternant to the non-inflected subjunctive (ref)'. What's unclear is whether 'alternative' and 'alternant' mean variant, that is, that 'should' expresses the subjunctive mood.

    Fivejedjon: It is clear to me that ‘alternative’ does not mean ‘variant':
    alternative […] 1 (of one or more things) available or usable instead of another. […] 2 (of two things) mutually exclusive.” Concise Oxford Dictionary, 9th edition, (1995)

    Lauralie: According to somebody, it does (Note, I can't seem to find the original source for this):

    The subjunctive mood can be expressed using the modal verbs 'shall' (should) and 'may' (might).


    Fivejedjon: Whoever that somebody is, s/he is not alone. George O Curme (1931), Pokemon and Corum have similar ideas. I do not agree – that is why we are discussing this.

  8. #28
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    Re: Subjunctive

    Response to part of #24

    Fivejedjon: As I understand it, Corum, you are agreeing that was in if I was you is not subjunctive, and that verbs in a clause with possibly/perhaps/reportedly/etc are not subjunctive, but saying that certain uses of should are subjunctive.

    Corum: That is Correct

    Fivejedjon: If we agree that was in if I was you is not subjunctive, then surely should is not subjunctive? Or, if should is subjunctive, as you maintain (because it is used putatively), then surely was must be?

    I think that you and I may be arguing about two different points; I’ll clarify my position.

    I am using the word modality for the whole clause; the following (in blue) are examples of modality:

    1. I suggest that he come.
    2. I suggest that he should come.
    3. If he came, I’d be happy
    4. If he should come, I’d be happy.
    5. Should he come, I’d be happy.
    6. Were he to come, I’d be happy.
    7. If I was you, I’d come
    8. If I were you, I’d come.
    9. Perhaps he is coming.
    10. He may come.

    I am using the word subjunctive for a form of the verb. So in the examples above, come (1), came* (3), were (6 and 8) are subjunctive forms.
    Should come (2, 4 and 5), ‘d be (3, 4, 5, and 6) ‘d come (7 and 8) was (7) show modality, but are not subjunctive. The same is true for 9 and 10.

    So, was (7) and were (8) both show modality, but was is indicative and were is subjunctive.

    By this reasoning, should in (for example) 4 is indicative (like was in 7) or subjunctive (like were in 8).

    I go for the indicative, you for the subjunctive. I don’t think either of us is going to change the mind of the other. I prefer my analysis because it appears to me to be much simpler in modern English. However, I have to admit that your analysis is not as unjustified as I thought originally. Dammit! I have done your arguing for you.

  9. #29
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Subjunctive

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It is clear to me that ‘alternative’ does not mean ‘variant': “alternative […] 1 (of one or more things) available or usable instead of another. Concise Oxford Dictionary, 9th edition, (1995)
    It remains fuzzy: 1 is ambiguous. (Please let us not discuss dictionary entries. It's no different from interpreting someone's words.)

    The issue is that no one authority that we can find has yet to clearly state that 'should' does or does not express a subjunctive mood. Why is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Fivejedjon: Whoever that somebody is, s/he is not alone. George O Curme (1931)
    1931?

  10. #30
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    Re: Subjunctive

    Response to # 29
    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    It remains fuzzy: (Please let us not discuss dictionary entries. It's no different from interpreting someone's words.)

    You wrote, "What's unclear is whether 'alternative' and 'alternant' mean variant". I responded that it is clear to me that 'alternative' ( I did not use 'alternant') cannot mean this.

    Webster's Third New International Dictionary and the full Oxford English Dictionary both agree with me, but you seem to want not to discuss dictionary entries.
    We cannot continue a discussion if we cannot agree on terms.

    Incidentally, as I pointed out in a previous post, I quoted someone's words.

    The issue is that no one authority that we can find has yet to clearly state that 'should' does or does not express a subjunctive mood. Why is that?

    If you don't want to accept the authority of a dictionary, why should the authority of a writer of grammar be of any interest to you?
    5

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