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On 9 Feb 2014 07:53, "Douglas Koller" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2014 20:55:32 +0000
> > From: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: "if... then...." Sentences; Dyirbal
> > To: [log in to unmask]
>
> > Could anyone explain the way(s) in which languages which only allow one
> > finite verb per sentence cope with "if... then..." sentences, e.g.:
>
> > "If you had arrived on time [then] you wouldn't have missed the crucial
> > first ten minutes".
>
> Don't know if this is what you're looking for, but Japanese has a verb
form(s): stem + -eba => nomeba "if I drink"past form + -ra => nondara "if I
drink" (more colloquial) So you get:
>
> Ame ga fureba/futtara, pikunikku ni ikimasen (desyoo).If it rains, we're
not going on a picnic.
>
> Didn't study formally and don't know how the natives analyze it
(conditional?). Wouldn't call it a gerund, but is it finite? "Ame ga
fureba" is not a complete sentence any more than "When in Rome" is.
>
> For a strategy that doesn't involve manipulating citation form, you can
try:
>
> Ame ga furu baai wa...  In the event that it rains... (though sounds to
me more conversationally viable in Japanese; perhaps that's not the most
suitable translation)
>
> More gerund-y is "nonde", which you can use in a sentence like:
>
> Kore o nonde ii? Is it okay/Do you mind if I drink this?
>
> But you could also translate that as: "Is it okay to drink this?" or "Is
(my) drinking this okay (by you)?"

Hmm at first sight I was coming to the conclusion that languages which
allow only one finite verb per sentence make an exception for "if...
then..." clauses, but your second and third examples seem to be exactly the
type of thing I'm looking for. Thanks!
>
> Kou