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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with the morphosyntactic and distributional properties of subjunctive and irrealis, with a special focus on their mutual relation and on their relation with indicative and realis in terms of markedness. More complex systems in which there are other moods besides the realis/irrealis (or indicative/subjunctive) dichotomy (e.g. potential, conditional, etc.) are also discussed. The topic is addressed from a terminological, typological, and diachronic perspective, illustrating the most influential approaches to these two linguistic notions. In discussing their phenomenology, it is shown that the distributional differences may in some cases be explained by considering the diachronic development of subjunctives and irrealis forms (both in terms of the identification of their diachronic sources and in terms of how these markers spread throughout different subparts of the functional domain of modality).

Keywords: (ir)realis, irrealis, realis, subjunctive, indicative, conditional, mood, markedness, marked, diachrony

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