The Subjunctive Mood

Talossan’s subjunctive mood is sometimes called “the conditional tense”, and it is used in much the same places that other Romance languages (like Spanish) use their conditional tense. Due to the fact that the conjugation of verbs into the subjunctive mood “looks” very similar to conjugation into any of the present-, past-, and future-tense forms of the indicative mood (with different word-endings for each different subject), many people choose to think of these verb forms as a “tense” rather than as a mood.

Conjugation of Regular Verbs

To form the subjunctive mood conjugations, the -arh ending of an infinitive verb is replaced by one of the endings shown in the table below. The Talossan verb amarh (= to love) is used for the examples.

  • amadréu (= I might love)
  • amadrás (= you might love)
  • amadra (= he/she/it might love)
  • amadrent (= we/they might love)
  • amadretz (= y’all might love)

These simple word-ending changes apply to all Talossan verbs except those, listed below, that have irregular subjunctive mood conjugations.

Irregular Subjunctive Mood Verbs

Seven Talossan verbs have irregular subjunctive mood conjugations. Those verbs are listed below with the (improper) infinitive form to which the regular rules should be applied in order to conjugate the subjunctive form of the verb:

  • credarh (= to believe) conjugates as if from the infinitive *crearh (giving creadréu, etc.)
  • irh (the verb of motion; “to come/go”, to be “on the way”) and viénarh (the manitive and retrospective aspect auxiliary) both conjugate as if from the infinitive *venarh (giving venadréu, etc.)
  • moártarh (= to die) conjugates as if from the infinitive *mortarh (giving mortadréu, etc.)
  • pevarh (= to be able to [can]) conjugates as if from the infinitive *povarh (giving povadréu, etc.)
  • scríuarh (= to write) conjugates as if from the infinitive *scrivarh (giving scrivadréu, etc.)
  • tirh (= to have) conjugates as if from the infinitive *tenarh (giving tenadréu, etc.)

Use of the Subjunctive

The Talossan subjunctive mood has a more restricted set of uses than the subjunctive mood in other Romance languages. In fact, the Talossan subjunctive essentially is used in the same circumstances where English uses the subjunctive:

    • To discuss something that is contrary to fact. For example, “if the door were green” is a subjunctive phrase. Contrast this with “if the door is green”, which is in the indicative mood. The Talossan equivalents are the subjunctive schi la poarta estadra virt (= if the door were green) and the indicative schi la poarta isch virt (= if the door is green).

 

  • To discuss something that is both uncertain and desired. For example, the verb “to write” is used in the subjunctive mood in o recomendeva qe noi scrivadrent noschtri nums (= he recommended that we write our names).

    This case also covers the expression of wishes, such as in cheréu qe povadréu menxharh acest-cì (= I wish that I could eat this). Note here how the first verb (cheréu = I wish) is in the indicative mood, while only the compound verb that describes the unfulfilled circumstance (povadréu menxharh = I could eat) is in the subjunctive mood.

    In Talossan, it is very common to see these mandative statements introduced by the preposition qe. That is, the statement ¡qe las montagnhas cantadrent! (= may/let the mountains sing!). Thus, this same phrasing also serves to indicate an optative form, which is an imperative statement (command) directed to first- or third-person subjects. Imperatives to second-person subjects (that is, to “you” and to “y’all) on another Webpage; example optative statements would be qe noi menxhadrent (= let’s eat) and ¡qe Díeu salvadra el regeu! (= God save the King! literally “that God would save the King!).

  • To express a conditional clause, which would be true only if another, uncertain clause, were the case. For example, in the phrase “if you were sick, then I would know it”, the “if” clause is subjunctive (as it is a statement contrary to fact) and the “then” clause is conditional. In Talossan, the subjunctive mood conjugations are used in both these clauses: schi estadrás clav, en säpadréu (= if you were sick, I would know it).

The Past Subjunctive

Many other Romance languages have separate conjugated forms for the present subjunctive and the past subjunctive. Talossan does not.

Talossan indicates this distinction in the same way that English does so, by casting the subjunctive mood conjugations into the perfect aspect. For example, schi tenadrás estescu clav, en tenadréu säpescu (= if you had been sick, I would have known it).

Expressing Uncertainty

The questionableness of a statement is expressed using an adverb, such as “perhaps” or “maybe”. For example, consider the sentence “Perhaps I am old”; in this sentence, the verb “to be” is conjugated (to “am”) in the indicative mood. This sentence is constructed the same way in Talossan: salacor eu sint vell (= perhaps I am old).

In the similar sentence “I may be old”, which uses the adverb “may”, the verb “to be” appears in the subjunctive mood (as “be”, rather than as “am”). In Talossan, however, this sentence is still expressed the indicative: salacor éu sint vell (= perhaps I am old). In addition to salacor (= perhaps), Talossan also has the words fortaßis (= possibly) and sà’starh (= maybe), which are used in the same way.

Notice that adverbs of uncertainty can be used with subjunctive expressions, in both English and Talossan, to cast more doubt on the subjunctive verb. For example, schi salacor estadrás clav, sà’starh en säpadréu (= if perhaps you were sick, maybe I would know it).