The major development involved the loss of morphological mood and as a consequence the grammaticalization of the conjunction hina to the subjunctive
particle na, which eventually became the element that realized this MOOD functional category.
But the verb is subjunctive
, and the construction is heavy.
Regarding the modal means used in conditional protases, in Old English, the verb may occur both in the subjunctive
and in the indicative (Visser 1966: [section] 880), with the latter being the more common mood (cf.
If the subjunctive
mood is required, write the appropriate form (be or were) on the line.
habbap libbap secgap hycgap Present subjunctive
sg haebbe libbe secge hycge pl.
Several authors have shown that the subjunctive
mood leads people to think in terms of dual possibilities, while the indicative mood leads people to consider just one possibility (Byrne, 2005; Santamaria, Espino, & Byrne, 2005).
In the article "Three types of conditionals in English and Portuguese", Gomes (2008) analyses temporal choice in Portuguese conditionals, focusing on the alternation between the present of the indicative and the future of the subjunctive
in conditional protases.
It is possible to assume that a similar situation took place in the course of the history of English, except that the forms of the preterite subjunctive
in the present context and the forms of the preterite indicative started to overlap (2).
Given the continuing existence of mood differentiation (albeit in the process of extinction) in Middle English, and considering that our corpus belongs to the very end of this period, indicative and subjunctive
uses in our past be forms were quantified.
This isn't what languages are - you don't see many five-year-olds with a grammar textbook in hand, worrying about subjunctive
clauses or past participles
They probably haven't forgotten but rather never knew of the subjunctive
Thanks to half a century of the loony left in education we have a population in which all but the oldest - university graduates not excluded - can't tot up the shopping bill and work out the change without a calculator, can't spell, don't know where to use and where not to use an apostrophe, how to construct a sentence that means what it is intended to mean or the difference between "due to" and "owing to" and between "under way" and "underway", and probably haven't forgotten but rather never knew of the subjunctive