The Kartvelologist” is a bilingual (Georgian and English) peer-reviewed, academic journal, covering all spheres of Kartvelological scholarship. Along with introducing scholarly novelties in Georgian Studies, it aims at popularization of essays of Georgian researchers on the international level and diffusion of foreign Kartvelological scholarship in Georgian scholarly circles.
“The Kartvelologist” issues both in printed and electronic form. In 1993-2009 it came out only in printed form (#1-15). The publisher is the “Centre for Kartvelian Studies” (TSU), financially supported by the “Fund of the Kartvelological School”. In 2011-2013 the journal is financed by Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation.
ON A TYPE OF SUBJUNCTIVE CONDITIONAL IN GEORGIAN
1. Georgian has two conjunctions, rom and tu, which introduce a conditional clause. The predicate verb in rom conditional clauses is in the subjunctive mood. When an adverbial clause led by rom has an indicative predicate, it expresses time rather than condition, as in (1).
[rom + indicative]
[rom + subjunctive]
The conjunction tu, on the other hand, may be accompanied by a verb of either mood to form a conditional clause.
[tu + indicative]
[tu + subjunctive]
Table 1 illustrates the combination of a conjunction and the mood of the subordinate verb and the function of the clause.
Table 1. Conjunction, mood of the subordinate verb and function
2. The question then is what the difference is among the three types of conditional constructions in terms of their function. According to Vogt (4, pp. 209-10), rom introduces a hypothetical proposition, while tu, when combined with an indicative verb, presents a condition necessary for the apodosis situation. When tu co-occurs with a subjunctive verb, however, the meaning approaches that of rom protases.
(5) agi ulvaš-i gamp’arse, ase tu ar knas! (Dumbadze)
(6) es tu k’ameč-is k’vercx-i ar iq’os, tav-s movič’ri. (Chokheli)
(7) mok’vdes pxora, tu mt’r-is xel-ši čagagdos! (Važa)
(8) svet’icxovel-is damkcev-i viq’o, tu giğalat’o. (Leonidze)
(9) tu valent’ina ivanovna-m gamomxedos, manišne. (Rcheulishvili)
(10) tu daleva mogindes, sxvagan nuğar c’axval, isev ak dalie-o. (Inanishvili)
(11) tu šegxvdes sadme, gahq’evi da misi vinaoba šemat’q’obine.
(12) tu mogenat’rot, c’eril-i gamomigzavnet samt’redia-ši. (Dumbadze)
4. Among subjunctive forms, those can be used with tu are Aorist Subjunctive, Present Subjunctive, and Perfect Subjunctive. Hewitt [7, pp. 89] distinguishes the function of tu plus Aorist subjunctive and that of tu plus Present Subjunctive or Perfect Subjunctive. As for the former, he notes that it does not differ any semantic difference from the corresponding indicative construction (i.e. tu plus Aorist), drawing the following example, in which tu is combined with Aorist Subjunctive as well as with Aorist in the same context.
(13) tu erts čvengans bič’i eq’olos [AORSBJ] da meores — kali, mašin kali važs ševrtot: xolo tu kalebi gveq’olos [AORSBJ] orives, oriveni debsavit unda gavzardot da mebs ševrtot; tu orives važebi gveq’ola [AOR], mebi unda iq’vnen ertgulebi …
‘If one of us should father a boy and the other a girl, then let us marry them to each other; and if we both should father girls, we must rear them both like sisters and marry them to a pair of brothers; if we both father lads, they must be faithful brothers…’ ( [7, pp. 80; 2, pp. 113] boldface by me)
According to native speakers I consulted, the use of the Aorist Subjunctive forms eq’olos and gveq’olos with tu in (13) sounds rather archaic. Hewitt (1987: 80) remarks that such use of Aorist Subjunctive to express “a pure, future condition may be a relic from Old Georgian”. However, it is not the case that every expression of a future conditional situation by tu and a subjunctive verb should be treated alike. Other examples given in the present paper, at least, do not leave an archaic impression on native speakers as (13). In this light, (13) is exceptional and hence is left out of consideration as an archaism.
5. The combination of tu and Present Subjunctive or Perfect Subjunctive, on the other hand, is considered to be used when “the speaker wishes to asseverate his absolute conviction that the predicate of the protasis is contrary to fact” [7, pp. 82]), as in the examples (14) and (15). The apodosis then “seems usually to contain either an imperative or an Aorist subjunctive functioning as an optative” [7, გვ. 82].
(14) ğmert-i gamic’q’res, tu gexumrebode.
(15) šečvenebul-i viq’ve, tu vt’q’uode, tu rodisme hq’olodes!
It is certainly one of the functions of tu protases having a subjunctive verb to make an assertion that the protasis content is not true. The function is, however, not restricted to Present Subjunctive and Perfect Subjunctive, but is common to all the three subjunctive forms that may co-occur with tu. The examples (5)-(8) presented above illustrate tu plus Aorist Subjunctive of the same function. The tu protasis having a subjunctive verb can be treated as a special construction expressing negative conviction of the speaker toward the protasis content.
6. Separately from this function, tu protases may also contain a subjunctive verb when the apodosis expresses a command to the hearer, as in the examples (4) and (9)-(12). The protasis then describes a conditional non-past situation and accordingly the verb may be in Aorist Subjunctive or Present Subjunctive as in (16) and (17). Perfect Subjunctive is unavailable.
(16) xurda tu gkondes, momeci.
(17) tu vinme st’udent’-s icnobde, gamacani.
What has to be noticed is that these examples, (4), (9)-(12), (16) and (17), do not convey any negative conviction of the speaker. The speaker appears neutral to the probability of the situation described in the protasis. In this point, these examples are distinguished from those discussed above, (5)-(8), (14), and (15).
Note also that the apodosis does not necessarily contain an imperative expression. In the following examples , the apodosis is formally declarative, but implies a command to the hearer (i.e. ‘Have the bread’ in (18), ‘Call me there’ or ‘Tell the caller so’ in (19)).
(18) tu mogšivdes, magida-ze p’uri devs.
(19) tu vinme-m darek’os, otax-ši var.
7. The combination of tu and a subjunctive verb is, in principle, not available outside the two uses discussed above. Take (20) for a simple example. When the tu protasis has a subjunctive verb, the apodosis may represent a command, whether affirmative (a) or negative (b), but it cannot be hortative (c), jussive expression in the third person (d), nor can be declarative without any imperative implication (e). (If the indicative form ic’vimebs [FUT] or ic’vimos [AOR] is substituted for the subjunctive ic’vimos, (a)-(e) all become well acceptable.)
(20) tu ic’vimos, … ‘If it rains, …’
8. To conclude, tu protases can have a subjunctive predicate verb in two cases:
(i) when the speaker asserts that the protasis content is not true;
Such semantic and pragmatic conditions are proper to this type of conditional construction and do not apply to rom protases or tu protases having an indicative predicate verb. How do these particular conditions arise through the interaction between the choice of the conjunction, on the one hand, and the choice of the predicate mood, on the other, is to be elucidated in future by a comprehensive analysis of conditional constructions of Georgian.