Approaching Grammar: Verb Moods

I came up with the willing/unwilling and planned/unplanned distinction. Moreover, I want to incorporate an imperative and a rather general irrealis. OK, so first I want to look into the willingness-plannedness-thing. We get 4 cases (because they have to occur together!), exemplified here again with walk:

  1. I walk-planned-willing: I planned to walk now and I’m willing to do so. “I’m supposed to walk.”
  2. I walk-planned-unwilling: I don’t want to walk, but it was planned like that before. Corresponds to “I’m supposed to walk” oder “I have to walk”.
  3. I walk-unplanned-willing: I haven’t planned to walk, but I want/enjoy to do so: “I spontaneously walk”
  4. I walk-unplanned-unwilling: I haven’t planned to walk and I don’t want to neither. “I have to walk now.”

This distinction mixes an emotional attitude (the willingness) with a cognitive-temporal perspective of the speaker on the process.
Adding the irrealis, I can create interestingly complex phrases:

  • Case 1+Irrealis: I want to walk as I said before/planned.
  • Case 2+Irrealis: I’m happily not walking where I was supposed to walk.
  • Case 3+Irrealis: I want to walk, although I didn’t say so before/didn’t plan so.
  • Case 4+Irrealis: I’m happy to not walk now, although the situation could suggest to walk.

The irrealis may further be used to indicate conditional, but I have yet to work that out.

The imperative is not sepeartely encoded. I think it is crucial to say that the willingness is always according to the speaker. Saying “You want to walk” cannot be done by saying something like:

*walk-unplanned-willing 2.SG.ABS

That would mean: “I want you to walk.”, basically resulting in the imperative. Saying “You want to walk” would require a contextual help as it cannot be grammaticalised!

So, coming from that, I have an optative (the 4 forms of willingness/plannedness), an irrealis and, of course, an indicative.


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