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                Conditionals are funny little things.  Some classical
conlangs seem to get along fine without having a specific way to express
contrafactual clauses, though I may be wrong.  Others like to throw in an
extra mood or two.

                Personally, I’m still traumatized by conditions from Greek
and Latin.  All those spindly protases and entangled apodoses still haunt
my nightmares.



                Many of us are probably familiar with the Us-mood in
Esperanto:



*Se mi povus, mi irus.*

*If I could, I would go.*



*Se mi estus vi, mi irus.*

*If I were you, I’d go.*



                Looking at “A hand-book of Volapük” I’ve come across these
sentences:



*If äbinob-la liegik, äbinoböv givik.*

*If I were rich I would be generous.*



*Ibinomöv givik, if ibinom-la liegik.*

*He would have been generous if he had been rich.*



*If stom binonöv koldikum, ba nifosöv.*

*If only the weather were colder, perhaps it would snow.*


*If ikömomöv, agivoböv ome givoti.*

*If he had come, I would have given him a present.*



                Volapük has its own conditional mood, I suppose.



                In aUI the word for “if” is Qg, one of the few words with
‘Q’ if I remember right.  I’d have to look through the book to find an
example, but I’m not sure that aUI distinguishes unreal conditions from
real conditions.



                I’m not entirely sure how conditions work in the languages
of Middle-earth.  I know that “if” is “si” in Nevbosh, since this poem has
survived to us.



*Dar fys ma vel gom co palt 'hoc
pys go iskili far maino woc?
Pro si go fys do roc de
Do cat ym maino bocte
De volt fac soc ma taimful gyróc!'*

*"There was an old man who said 'how*

*Can I possibly carry my cow?*

*For if I was to ask it*

*To get in my pocket*

*It would make such a fearful row."*



                A quick search on the Quettaparma Quenyallo wordlist on
Ardalambion reveals some possible words for “if” in Quenya.



##

                *cé* *("k")*, also *ce* *(“k”)* “may be” *(VT49:19, 27)*,
particle indicating uncertainty (VT42:34; *ce* in Bill Welden's note is a
misspelling, VT44:38, but the short form *ce* does occur in other texts,
cf. VT49:18-19). In VT42, Welden wrote that Tolkien altered *ké* to *kwí*(or
*kwíta*, q.v.), but Welden later noted that "it does not follow that
because the form was changed in another sentence it would necessarily have
been corrected in the examples cited" (VT44:38). So *cé*/*ké* may still be
a conceptually valid form. (The forms in *kw*- rather than *qu*- seem
abnormal for Quenya, at least as far as spelling is concerned.) In another
conceptual phase, *cé* was also used = “if” *(VT49:19)*, but this
conjunction appears as *qui* elsewhere. Examples of *cé*, *ce *meaning “if”
(said to be “usually [used] with aorist”) include *cé mo quetë ulca* *(“k”,
“q”)* *”if one speaks evil”, *cé tulis, nauvan tanomë* *(“k”)* *”if (s)he
comes, I will be there” *(VT49:19)*, *cé mo*… *“if one…”, *ce
formenna**“if northwards”
*(VT49:26)*

                *cenai* *(“k”) conj.* “if it be that” *(VT49:19)*. This
word presupposes *ce* = “if”; other sources rather make *qui* the word for
“if”, whereas *ce* or *cé* is used = “maybe”.

                *cenasit*, *canasta* *(“k”)* *adv. *“if it be so, may be,
perhaps” *(VT49:19)*. Compare *cenai*.

*mai* (2) *conj.* "if" *(PE14:59 cf. VT49:20; possibly obsoleted by #1
above; for “if”, Tolkien later used qui)*

*qui* *conj.* “if” *(VT49:19)*

##



                I haven’t been able to find any conditions in Láadan,
though there are these entries in the dictionary:



*bre… ébre
*if … then

*rilrili
*hypothetical, would, might, let's suppose (Time Auxiliary)

*wo
*imagined or invented by speaker, hypothetical, imagined or invented by X,
hypothetical (evidence morpheme)



                I would imagine, therefore that Láadan could express
contrary to fact conditions, though I do not know for certain.



                Klingon conditionals just seem to make use of the level
nine suffix –chugh.  I don’t think it has a specific way to express
contrafactual conditions, though I suppose one could use a word like chaq
“perhaps,” to do so.  Here’s a list of conditions that I’ve been able to
find, but note that are not always translated as conditions in English:



*bIjatlhHa'chugh qaHoH.*

*If you say the wrong thing, I will kill you.*



*qaHoH bIjatlhHa'chugh.*

*I will kill you, if you say the wrong thing.*



*pujwI' HIvlu'chugh quvbe'lu'.*

*There is no honor in attacking the weak.*



*bIlujlaHbe'chugh bIQaplaHbe'.*

*If you cannot fail, you cannot succeed.*



*bItuHlaHbe'chugh bIquvlaHbe'.*

*If you cannot be shamed, you cannot be honored.*



*Heghlu'DI' mobbe'lu'chugh QaQpu' Hegh wanI'.*

*Death is an experience best shared.*



*'etlh QorghHa'lu'chugh ragh 'etlh nIvqu' 'ej jejHa'choH.*

*Even the best blade will rust and grow dull unless it is cared for.*



*batlh Heghlu'chugh noDnISbe' vay'.*

*An honorable death requires no vengeance.*



*cheqotlhchugh maHaghbe''a'? cheDuQchugh mareghbe''a'? cheQIHchugh
manoDbe''a'?*

*Tickle us, do we not laugh? Prick us, do we not bleed? Wrong us, shall we
not seek revenge?*



*potlhbe'chugh yay qatlh pe''eghlu'?*

*If winning is not important, then why keep score?*



*Qu' buSHa'chugh SuvwI', batlhHa' vangchugh, qoj matlhHa'chugh, pagh ghaH
SuvwI''e'.*

*If a warrior ignores duty, acts dishonorably, or is disloyal, he is
nothing.*



*narghbe'chugh SuvwI' qa' taH may'.*

*If the warrior's spirit has not escaped, the battle is still going on.*



*Ha'DIbaH DaSop 'e' DaHechbe'chugh yIHoHQo'.*

*Do not kill an animal unless you intend to eat it.*



*leghlaHchu'be'chugh mIn lo'laHbe' taj jej.*

*A sharp knife is nothing without a sharp eye.*



*'oy'be'lu'chugh Qapbe'lu'.*

*No pain, no gain.*



*Suvbe'chugh SuvwI' tlhuHbe' SuvwI'.*

*If a warrior does not fight, he does not breathe.*



*'oy'naQ Dalo'be'chugh not nenghep lop puq.*

*If you don't use the painstik, the child will never celebrate his Age of
Ascension.*



*noH QapmeH wo' Qaw'lu'chugh yay chavbe'lu' 'ej wo' choqmeH may'
DoHlu'chugh lujbe'lu'.*

*Destroying an empire to win a war is no victory, and ending a battle to
save an empire is no defeat.*



*SuyDuj DaQaw'chugh qagh DaHoH.*

*If you destroy the merchant ship, you kill gagh.*





                When I’m a bit less sleepy and less haunted by memories of
conditions from classical languages of our world (simple condition …
contrary-to-fact condition … future more probable …. Less probable future
…), I’ll mention conditions on Khlějha.  Those conditions are just plain
silly.