Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 23:28:33 -0400

From: "H Stephen STRAIGHT (Binghamton University,


Subject: Re: If I was

For the record, my "If I would X, then I would Y" was meant to exemplify

the LOSS of a distinctive subjunctive form in favor of the conditional,

which is used in some dialects in place of the former subjunctive. It's

sort of a verbal concord in which both clauses in a conditional conjunct

receive conditional marking, with only the "if" and "then" left to tell

you which clause is performing which function.

On Wed, 11 Oct 1995, William H. Smith wrote: During the thread on the

subjunctive, Stephen Straight wrote "If I would have been more

careful,...I wouldn't have muddied the waters..." I take those

_would's_ to be subjunctive on the grounds that it is an apparent past

tense form used with present tense meaning, but that is only my guess.

Can anyone confirm or disconfirm this on historical grounds? If it is

subjunctive, it is a (fairly common) substitution on one subjunctive

construction for another. Bill Smith Piedmont College

Best. 'Bye. Steve

H Stephen STRAIGHT Binghamton University (SUNY)

Anthropology & Linguistics LxC Box 6000, Binghamton NY 13902-6000

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