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At 7:42 pm +0100 10/1/00, Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote:
[....]
>
>Actually, there's an if-then construction in Danish that is similar,
>but I don't know if it's a carryover from this mediaeval usage.
>
>Instead of saying 'Hvis S1 V1 [O1 ...], [så] V2 S2 [O2 ...]' you can
>just say 'V1 S1 [O1 ...], [så] V2 S2 [O2 ...].' This is somewhat
>marked, and suitable for dramatic pronouncements, sports journalism
>and song texts. Examples:

It occurs in English but only AFAIK in hypothetical types of condition.
One still hears it certainly where the hypothesis refers to the past, e.g.

Had I known that, I wouldn't have come.

Had you told me, of course I'd not have gone there.

etc.

But it is possible with other forms.  One still sometimes hears things like:
Were I able to go, of course I'd come straight away.

And in the story of Jack & the Bean Stalk, the giant says:
"Be he alive or be he dead,
"I'll grind his bones to make my bread."

Ray

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A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                   [J.G. Hamann 1760]
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