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Doug Dee/Trebor Jung [shouldn't that be Gnuj?] wrote:
>
> >Could someone explain this weird construction to me?
>
> I guess this is an example of indirectness serving to indicate politeness.
>
> Instead of saying bluntly "I want [you to give me] a cup of tea" we say
> something that more literally means "Hypothetically speaking, if I had a
cup of
> tea, I would like it."  Then the listener can infer he ought to give me
one,
> without my actually having to tell him so.
>
That, yes.  I think there's also a deleted "...to have ~to eat/drink ~to be
served... etc."  Perhaps equally mysterious is "I'll have...[a Pink Lady,
the squid, etc.]"

ObConlang:  Kash uses "I will want"-- ma/melo/to (future tense).  To use
lisam 'like'-- ?*malisando-- in that context would suggest you expect to
enjoy whatever you've ordered-- not a safe assumption in many restaurants
both here and there...........

> I seem to recall that the French equivalent is "Je voudrais . . ."
literally
> "I would want . . ."  That strikes me as a slightly less indirect way of
> getting the point across.
>
And Spanish yo quisiera, Germ. ich möchte (?)(subjunctives) , probably Ital.
io vorebbe (?)...(conditional, like French)