LINGUIST List 2.314

Saturday, 22 June 1991

Disc: Mood

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  1. Jim Sullivan (617, Clarification on term "mood"
  2. "ACAD3A::FFJAL1", Clarification on term "mood"

Message 1: Clarification on term "mood"

Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1991 9:19:04 EDT
Subject: Clarification on term "mood"
<ffjal1alaska.bitnet (??)> is looking for a term which unambiguously refers
to moods that express a desire for something to happen.
Perhaps a new term -- why not just "hopeful" or the somewhat awful "expective"
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Message 2: Clarification on term "mood"

Date: Wed, 19 Jun 91 09:30:27 -0900
Subject: Clarification on term "mood"
>From Jeff Leer
 Thanks to those who have answered my question about moods;
perhaps I should clarify a bit. I'm writing a dissertation on the
schetic (i.e. TMA) categories of Tlingit, a Pacific Northwest Coast
Amerind language, and am constantly running into difficulties with
terminology. I was originally using the term "Desiderative" for
the superordinate category of modal categories semantically characterizable
as requesting or desiring. In Tlingit, these are Imperative (2nd pers. subj.
only), Hortative (which is not inherently a dependent-clause mood),
and the Prohibitive-Optative (the Prohibitive is the negative counterpart
of the Imperative and Hortative; the Optative is optative, and they use
--share the same form). Obviously I don't want to use "optative" as
a cover term for these categories, because "Optative" is one of the
member categories. "Desiderative" might be OK, except that many linguists
understand this term to refer to constructions meaning literally "want",
like Japanese INFINITIVE+tai. I'm now thinking about using "Requestive"
(or the more highbrow "Requisitive") as a cover term.
 By the way, I am not sure I want to equate (morphological) "mood"
with (semantic) "modality". The reason is that Tlingit (and maybe other
languages) has two formally distinct schetic supercategories that would
seem both to be subsumed under what logicians call modality. One is mood
(Declarative vs. Requestive) and the other is what I've been calling
status (Realis vs. Irrealis). The status distinction has to do logically
with proximity in terms of possible-worlds: Irrealis is used for negative,
dubitative, and presumptive sentences. Does anyone know of a better name
than "status" for this superordinate category?
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