On 20/11/2011 17:04, David McCann wrote:
> In Latin, hypothetical or counterfactual conditions have
> the subjunctive: Si id credis, erras. 'If you believe
> that, you're wrong.' Indicative, because a statement of
> logical fact.

Yes, all factual conditions have indicative in the protasis
(if-clause) and normally also in the apodosis (main clause)
- tho the latter might be imperative if meaning requires it,
Si vera scis, dic mihi
If you know the truth, tell me.

> Si id credas, erres. 'If you were to believe that, you'd
> be wrong.' Subjunctive, because I don't know that you
> believe it.
Counterfactual looking to the future - present subjunctive.

> Si id crederes, errares. 'If you believed that, you'd be
> wrong.' Past subjunctive, because I don't think that you
> believe it.
Counterfactual referring to the present - imperfect subjunctive

Si id credidisses, erravisses. "If you had believed that,
you would have been wrong."
Counterfactual referring to the past - pluperfect subjunctive.


> Counterfactuals can be expressed by 1. Past tense
> (English, Latin, Classical Greek, Bantu, Athabascan,
> etc)

In the case of Latin, it is rather "one step back in the
past" (e.g. counterfactual future uses present subjunctive;
see examples above).

> 2. Modal forms (e.g. Latin)
Yep - subjunctive in Latin.

> The usage can be very complex in some languages, such as
> Greek.

Yes, even the 'factual future' is different from other
factual forms;
I suppose because there must always be an element of doubt
about the future.  But Greek did distinguish between likely
and unlike futures.  But as David wrote, it is complicated
and in his examples we have the further complication of
differences between the particular - if you (the person I'm
speaking to) - and the general - if anyone .... .  The
general business, however, applies to other subordinate
clause such "When[ever] anyone ... etc.

> I'm not sure about your complex forms; I too lazy to try
> to think of examples!

Moi aussi    :)

> PS: apodosis, plural apodoses.

protasis, plural protases

Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.