Michael Chidester wrote:Personally, I wish English had a separate Subjunctive mood. It makes things so much clearer.
Sure, and if we're allowed a wishlist here, I'd like mandatory grammatical type II evidentiality with separate mandatory epistemic modality.
That is, every verb must be conjugated depending on in what way you came about your knowledge about what you're stating, and also depending on how sure you are of the statement's veracity.
Grammatical mirativity might also be nice; that is, conjugation depending on how surprising (or not) you find what you're stating.
Then a statement like "Jake was drunk last night" would by necessity have to use a distinct form of "to be" that expresses all these things, making the statement something like
"Someone reliable told me that Jake was drunk last night, I'm reasonably certain of it but I was a bit surprised by it" or, as the case may be
"I have it on third-hand hearsay that Jake was drunk last night, I'm not at all sure that this is true and I would be very surprised if it was"
All expressed in one word. Now that would be something.
We should probably all speak Western Apache.