lemÌc. Lemizh grammar and dictionary

Unit 15. Dependent clauses: introduced with conjunctions

Do not grieve, o Momos, said Isis, for fate has commanded the alternation between darkness and light. – The evil is, replied Momos, that they believe to be in the light.

(Giordano Bruno. Spaccio de la bestia trionfante)

‘that’-clauses

This unit is concerned with finite clauses that are introduced with subordinating conjunctions (‘conjunctional clauses’), the most interesting one being ‘that’. This conjunction is not to be confused with the relative pronoun ‘that’ in ‘the poodle that barked loudly’ (or the one in the previous sentence). A good test is to replace the clause with a noun or pronoun, most suitably ‘it’, which only works if ‘that’ is a conjunction (but see below).

  I assume that Jacopo is writing about his trumpet.I assume it.

The difference between a non-finite clause (infinitive or gerund) and a ‘that’-clause is often purely grammatical (‘I want Jacopo to write about his trumpet’, but ‘I assume that Jacopo is writing about his trumpet’). However, ‘that’ frequently refers to the fact as opposed to the action – if I see that someone painted the bridge green, I don’t actually need to have seen them doing it –; so ‘that’-clauses are good candidates for topicalising the affirmative case (which should remind you of the chapter on the preposition ‘about’ in the previous unit). And while there is always the possibility that some other case should be topicalised, topicalising a plot case to mark a receptive verb is usually as problematic as with gerunds.

The outer case of the object that translates the clause is mostly, but not always, an accusative.

  assumeìl veì writeály iakopykè trumpetÌy vèU.I assume that Jacopo is writing about his trumpet.
assume-cons1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 write-aff-acc2 Jacopo-acc-nom3a trumpet-acc-acc3 PIn−2-nom-ben4.
  hearà veì readày.I hear him reading.
hear-fact1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 read-fact-acc2.
hearìl veì readàly.I have heard (that) he is reading (= about his reading).
hear-cons1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 read-aff-acc2.
  wantá zaraqyhtè flyáy eagleÌy zèU.Zarathustra wants his eagle to fly.
want-fact1 Zarathustra-acc-nom2a fly-fact-acc2 eagle-acc-acc3a PIn−3-nom-ben4.
wantá zaraqyhtè flyály eagleÌy zèU.Zarathustra wants that his eagle flies.
want-fact1 Zarathustra-acc-nom2a fly-aff-acc2 eagle-acc-acc3a PIn−3-nom-ben4.
  certainìl veì correctìly.I am certain that this has been made correct.
(For the perfect in the dependent clause compare this example.)
I am certain that this is right.
certain-cons1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 correct-cons-acc2.
  astonishà mìlOl lorenzyÌ upil1/4Ìnyr.Verb of emotion: the reason for me being astonished is Lorenza’s being-psu small.
(Lorenza not absorbed for clarity)
I am astonished at Lorenza(’s) being (small / at her smallness.
I am astonished (that) Lorenza is small.
astonish-fact1 make-cons-psu2 Lorenza-acc-acc3 up-cons-1/4-partacc-ext3.

Recall the chapter on factive vs. affirmative translation of modal adverbs: if you see ‘Luckily for us, Zarathustra speaks’ as an inversion of ‘We want Zarathustra to speak’, use the factive; if ‘We want that Zarathustra speaks’ comes closer to your meaning, the affirmative is appropriate. Likewise, ‘Possibly, Zarathustra will speak’ is either a compound of ‘Zarathustra’s speaking is possible’ (factive) or of ‘It is possible that Zarathustra will speak’ (affirmative).

Note that the conjunction ‘that’ can be omitted in many English finite clauses. This has no effect on meaning or translation. We will include ‘that’ in the following examples for clarity.

‘that’-clauses, like gerunds, can appear as attributes (‘the assumption that Jacopo is writing’). These might be confused with relative clauses (‘the poodle that barked loudly’) but aren’t, if you think it over: the difference is that you can say ‘The assumption is that Jacopo is writing’, but not **‘The poodle is that barked loudly’.

  The Lemizh translation shows unmistakably that they are conjunctional clauses:
assumeìl veì writeály iakopykè trumpetÌy vèU.my assumption that Jacopo is writing about his trumpet
assume-cons1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 write-aff-acc2 Jacopo-acc-nom3a trumpet-acc-acc3 PIn−2-nom-ben4.

Subtleties

The agent of the dependent clause can also be expressed as an object of the main predicate, similar to the modal verb constructions, albeit with the same disadvantages. Formally, these alternatives are similar to English ‘I see that Jacopo is writing about his trumpet’ (‘Jacopo’ is part of the dependent clause: Who is writing about his trumpet?) vs. ‘I see Jacopo writing about his trumpet’ (he is an object of the main verb: I see whom?).

  seeà veì writeály iakopykè trumpetÌy vèU.I see that Jacopo is writing about his trumpet.
see-fact1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 write-aff-acc2 Jacopo-acc-nom3a trumpet-acc-acc3 PIn−2-nom-ben4.
seeà veì iakopykè writeàly trumpetÌy vèU.
see-fact1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 Jacopo-acc-nom2 write-aff-acc2 trumpet-acc-acc3 PIn−2-nom-ben4.

Some ‘that’-clauses (we could term them ‘judgemental’) claim reality. Yes, this means inversion.

  goodìl speakály zìe.
good-cons1 speak-aff-acc2 PIn−3-dat-nom3a.
speaká viè goodÌal.The fact of your speaking is a good thing.It is good that you speak.
speak-fact1 PIn−2-dat-nom2a good-acc-aff2.

Direct and indirect speech

With the Lemizh pronouns and ways of expressing time, there is no need to change the reference point in indirect speech, as in English ‘I will visit my uncle’ → ‘You said that you would visit your uncle’. The pronouns will automatically point to the right person.

  speakaRprilká viè <visitaRpráy veÌ uncleÌi e>.You said, ‘I will visit my uncle’.
speak-temp-front-cons-opposition-fact1 PIn−2-dat-nom2a visit-temp-front-fact-acc2 PIn−2-nom-acc3a uncle-acc-dat3 PIn−3-nom-nom4.
speakaRprilká viè visitaRpráy veÌ uncleÌi e.You said that you would visit your uncle.
speak-temp-front-cons-opposition-fact1 PIn−2-dat-nom2a visit-temp-front-fact-acc2 PIn−2-nom-acc3a uncle-acc-dat3 PIn−3-nom-nom4.

In some situations it can still be helpful to use pronouns of a higher level.

  speakaRprilkà visitaRpráy ziÌ uncleÌi e.He said that you will visit your uncle.
speak-temp-front-cons-opposition-fact1 visit-temp-front-fact-acc2 PIn−3-dat-acc3a uncle-acc-dat3 PIn−4-dat-nom4.

If the cited sentence is topicalised, it technically changes from a direct object to one with the preposition ‘about’. This difference it is rarely important, except to distinguish ‘I say “trumpet-fact”’ (‘qualifying information’) from ‘I talk about the word “trumpet-acc”’.

To cite several sentences in indirect speech, they can either be connected with ‘and’ (inner partitives), or the inquit (speakà.) can be repeated with the pronoun fà.. In direct speech the inquit is not strictly necessary, as the citation is already identified by the quotes.

Toying around with dependencies and reality

When dependent clauses get more complicated, we need to take more care of the objects. Have a look at the persuasives in the following examples.

  speaká veè avÌ vitaminÌOl2.I say because of the vitamins, ‘She eats it’.
Because of the vitamins I say that she eats it.
speak-fact1 PIn−2-nom-nom2a eat-fact-acc2 vitamin-acc-psu2.
speaká veè àvy vitaminÌOl3.I say, ‘She eats it because of the vitamins’.
I say that she eats it, because of the vitamins.
speak-fact1 PIn−2-nom-nom2a eat-fact-acc2 vitamin-acc-psu3.
àv vitaminyÒl speakÌa zèe.(inversion)She eats it because of the vitamins, as I say.
eat-fact1 vitamin-acc-psu2 speak-acc-fact2 PIn−3-nom-nom3.

In the first example, the vitamins are the reason for my statement. In the second example, they are the reason for her eating it (whatever), but the action of eating as well as its reason are part of my statement and therefore have a reduced degree of reality. In the inverted sentence, both the eating and its reason are still part of my statement, but now reality is claimed.

We can get the vitamins out of my statement by moving them into a separate sentence. This process is called decoupling and employs a pronoun that refers to accusative object of the previous sentence via a pseudo-desorption.

  speaká veè àvy. là fyà vitaminÌOl.The content of speaking (= she eating it) is an action that happens because of the vitamins.I say that she eats it. She does that because of the vitamins.
speak-fact1 PIn−2-nom-nom2a eat-fact-acc2. do-fact1 PIIn−1-acc-fact2 vitamin-acc-psu2.

This phrasing again claims that her eating is real, because the factive bracket in the second sentence confers reality on it. If this is undesirable, we can re-combine the two sentences by making the pronoun a motivational object (ul, motivational context) of the first, reducing its degree of reality again. This is called weak linking. We can also use the contextual (yl, causal context) to avoid agent-centering, but at the cost of an extra inner partitive (for the same reason we use it with causatives and consecutives). Weak linking is also employed simply to keep related information in the same sentence without including it in the scope of the predicate – as for reporter’s insertions (editorialising) in indirect speech.

  speaká veè avÌ àul vitaminÌOl.The eating-because-of-vitamins is the motivational context of the speaker (i.e. mine).I say that she eats it; because of the vitamins.
speak-fact1 PIn−2-nom-nom2a eat-fact-acc2 PIIn-fact-mot2 vitamin-acc-psu3.
speaká viè visitày uncleìnyl wiseÌi.You said that you would visit your uncle, a wise man [I may add].
speak-fact1 PIn−2-dat-nom2a visit-fact-acc2 uncle-acc-dat3 PIIn-partdat-ctx2 wise-acc-dat3.

For the sake of completeness, modified objects should be mentioned. To express objects of the modifier, we can use weak linking (in a wider sense – the linking pronoun is not the predicate of the motivational/contextual object).

  àv vitaminyspeakÌOl.She eats it because of what are said to be vitamins.They say that she eats it because of the vitamins [and not because of the taste].
eat-fact1 vitamin-acc-speak-acc-psu2.
àv speakányl zeè vày vitaminÌOl.She eats it; I say because of the vitamins.I say that she eats it because of the vitamins [and not …].
eat-fact1 speak-partfact-ctx2 PIn−3-nom-nom3a PIn−2-fact-acc3 vitamin-acc-psu4.

‘I think that he is reading about the pendulum [as opposed to reading about platypuses]’ is also translated with a modified object, but not ‘I think that he is reading about the pendulum [as opposed to dancing the tango]’.

Clauses with other conjunctions

A number of subordinating conjunctions need other cases than the accusative, sometimes in combination with temporal and spatial verbs. These include ‘because, as, since’ (caus, psu; ‘as’ also temp; ‘since’ also ing), ‘so that’ (cons), ‘in order that’ (fin), ‘when, while’ (temp, eps), ‘until’ (egr), ‘where’ (loc, ill), ‘after, before’ (frontÌ., frontilkÌ. plus temp). To specify that an event occurs ‘while’ another is in progress, we need an ‘inside’ construction (or a fragmenting partitive) plus temp, or eps if the agent has chosen the progressing action as a ‘background’ or ‘stage’. Inner partitives may be necessary in causative and consecutive clauses.

  seatà seeaopportunityàar pendulumÌe.He sat down where he could see the pendulum.
seat-fact1 see-fact-opportunity-fact-loc2 pendulum-acc-nom3.
à seeawantàOl.He sat down there because he wanted to see it.
PIIn-fact1 see-fact-want-fact-psu2.
seeà pendulumcloseàeR museumÌi.He had been looking at the pendulum since the museum closed.
see-fact1 pendulum-acc-nom2 close-fact-ing2 museum-acc-dat3.
seeà pendulumfrontilkÌaR liveÌRe.He saw the pendulum before he died.
see-fact1 pendulum-acc-nom2 front-cons-opposition-acc-temp2 live-dur-nom3.
thinkà 1/1seatìlaR/oR tÌar.He thought about everything while he was sitting there.
think-fact1 1/1-acc-acc2 seat-cons-temp/eps2 this-acc-loc3.
awfuloutsideilkÌaR seatìle.Something awful happened while he was sitting there.
do-fact1 awful-acc-fact2 outside-cons-opposition-acc-temp2 seat-cons-nom3.
yelpá poodleyè ánvil zeè vèi.The poodle is yelping, so that I’ll feed it.
yelp-fact1 poodle-acc-nom2a eat-partfact-cons2 PIn−3-nom-nom3a PIn−2-nom-dat3.

The conjunction ‘lest’ (fin) has a negative sense and must be translated accordingly.

  seatìl seeanàUl gwÌi.He sat there lest he be seen (by anybody).
seat-cons1 see-fact-not-fact-fin2 any-acc-dat3.

To capture the indefinite sense of whatever, ‘whereveretc., we can implement a partitive bracket with the indefinite pronoun gwà..

  thinkateachà gwàar seeàan pendulumÌe.I’m able to think wherever I see the pendulum.
think-fact-teach-fact1 any-fact-loc2 see-fact-partfact3 pendulum-acc-nom4.

The conjunction ‘(al)though’ corresponds to the preposition ‘despite’. ‘as … as’ and ‘than’, as well as ‘if’ and ‘unless’, are discussed in the following two chapters. The conjunction ‘whether’ is treated towards the end of the next unit.

Comparison clauses

Comparison clauses translate like ‘enough’ and ‘too’ (with the conjunction ‘as … as’ corresponding to ‘enough’ and ‘than’ to ‘too’), the clause’s predicate replacing the modal verb. The first and second of the following examples contain an inversion of runá horsefastÌa.. The third is akin to ‘enough people’.

  assumeÌ personfastìlyn runáy horseÌy.There is what people assume of the speed of the horse’s running.The horse runs as fast as people assume.
assume-acc1 person-acc-dat2 fast-cons-partacc2 run-fact-acc3 horse-acc-acc4a.
fastilmoreìl runáy horseassumeÌym personÌi.(or inversions, e.g. making runà. the main predicate)The horse runs faster than people assume.
fast-cons-more-cons1 run-fact-acc2 horse-acc-acc3a assume-acc-qualacc2 person-acc-dat3.
orderá kapulytè amountÌy wineyÌn drinkalikeýy cèni.… an amount of wine liked to be drunk by us.Capulet ordered as much wine as we liked to drink.
order-fact1 Capulet-acc-nom2a amount-acc-acc2 wine-acc-partacc3 drink-fact-like-acc-acc3 PIn−4-partnom-dat4a.

‘that’-clauses are also used in comparisons. While ‘so … that’ actually introduces a consecutive clause, there are simpler ways for translation. This example is constructed like ‘The horse runs as fast as people assume’.

  astonishÒl mìlOln lorenzyÌ upil1/4Ìnyr.There is what astonishes me of Lorenza’s smallness.Lorenza is so small that I am astonished.
I am astonished that Lorenza is so small.
astonish-psu1 make-cons-partpsu2 Lorenza-acc-acc3 up-cons-1/4-partacc-ext3.

Conditional clauses

‘if’ and ‘unless’ are conjunctions that introduce finite clauses of the conditional type, ‘unless’ being simply the (nonexistence) negation of ‘if’. Factual conditionals express conditions the truth of which is unverified, whereas counterfactual ones express a condition that is known to be false. Both types can be translated by weak linking of a causative clause. Note the inner partitives, which denote that the named causes are not the only ones.

  certainilbvìl readaopportunityày writeýy iakopÌke, àul xÙlnskel passwordÌi.It could be that I’ll be able to read what Jacopo has written; because I find the password [among other causes]. (factual)I will be able to read Jacopo’s texts if I find the password.
certain-cons-1/2-cons1 read-fact-opportunity-fact-acc2 write-acc-acc3 Jacopo-acc-nom4a PIIn-fact-mot2 search-partfin-caus3 password-acc-dat4.
certainilbvìl madeRÌ àul xUlsknànel passwordÌy.Not finding the password is the reason for behaving madly. (factual)I will go mad unless I find the password.
certain-cons-1/2-cons1 mad-ing-acc2 PIIn-fact-mot2 search-fin-not-partfact-caus3 password-acc-acc4.
readaopportunityày writeýy iakopÌke, àul xÙlnskel passwordÌi.I wasn’t able to read what Jacopo has written; because I found* the password. (counterfactual)I would have been able to read Jacopo’s texts if I had found the password.
not-fact1 read-fact-opportunity-fact-acc2 write-acc-acc3 Jacopo-acc-nom4a PIIn-fact-mot2 search-partfin-caus3 password-acc-dat4.

* The causative clause in the counterfactual example is not negated: if it were possible to read the texts (pronoun), the cause would be the discovery of the password (the pronoun’s causative object).

Here the significance of weak linking is obvious.

Logically speaking, these constructions express entailment or implication (I find the password → I am able to read Jacopo’s texts): they do not rule out the possibility of me being able to read the texts without having found the password. Equivalence (I find the password ↔ I am able to read Jacopo’s texts) can be expressed with an exclusive ‘or’ construction combined with a negation.

  rÌ searchÙlnyn passwordreadaopportunityanànyn writeýy iakopÌke.One from the set {finding the password, not being able to read Jacopo’s texts} exists.
Either I find the password, or I won’t be able to read Jacopo’s texts.
I will be able to read Jacopo’s texts if and only if I find the password.
one-acc1 search-partfin-partacc2 password-acc-dat3 read-fact-opportunity-fact-not-partfact-partacc2 write-acc-acc3 Jacopo-acc-nom4a.

Alternative translations

Exchanging the main predicate, typically for a modal verb, can specify the circumstances of, and often simplify, a conditional sentence. Further simplification can sometimes be achieved by reducing the ‘if’-clause to an (instrumental or causative) object.

  làxt readaopportunityày writeýy iakopÌke, àul xÙlnskel passwordÌi.I want to be able to read Jacopo’s texts; this will be if I find the password.
want-fact1 read-fact-opportunity-fact-acc2 write-acc-acc3 Jacopo-acc-nom4a PIIn-fact-mot2 search-partfin-caus3 password-acc-dat4.
làxt readaopportunityày writeýy iakopÌke, àul passwordÌnu.I want to be able to read Jacopo’s texts; with the password.
want-fact1 read-fact-opportunity-fact-acc2 write-acc-acc3 Jacopo-acc-nom4a PIIn-fact-mot2 password-partacc-ins3.

Main and dependent (causative) clauses can be exchanged, the main clause becoming a consecutive. The pseudo-desorption in this example is necessary because ‘search’ is topicalised.

  làxt xÙlsky passwordyí làul vyà readaopportunityànil writeÌy iakopÌke.If I find the password, I will be able to read Jacopo’s texts.
want-fact1 search-fin-acc2 password-acc-dat3 do-fact-mot2 PIn−2-acc-fact3 read-fact-opportunity-partfact-cons3 write-acc-acc4 Jacopo-acc-nom5.

Counterfactual conditionals can often be phrased more elegantly with double negations, which are related to the counterfactual statements in the chapter on the infinitive’s and gerund’s degree of reality.

  readaopportunityanà writeýy iakopyké xUlsknànel passwordÌy.I wasn’t able to read Jacopo’s texts because I didn’t find the password.I would have been able to read Jacopo’s texts if I had found the password.
read-fact-opportunity-fact-not-fact1 write-acc-acc2 Jacopo-acc-nom3a search-fin-not-partfact-caus2 password-acc-acc3.
xUlsknà passwordreadaopportunityanàil writeýy iakopÌke.I didn’t find the password, so that I wasn’t able to to read Jacopo’s texts.
search-fin-not-fact1 password-acc-acc2 read-fact-opportunity-fact-not-fact-cons2 write-acc-acc3 Jacopo-acc-nom4a.

Another shortcut concerns conditional clauses containing a jugdement (‘It is good if …’, ‘It would be a pity if …’). Recall the paragraph on judgemental ‘that’-clauses from further up this unit.

  speaká viè goodÌal.It is good that you speak.
speak-fact1 PIn−2-dat-nom2a good-acc-aff2.
goodìl speakály zìe.It is good if you speak.
good-cons1 speak-aff-acc2 PIn−3-dat-nom3a.

Some ‘if’-clauses, especially universal and other certain statements, are better translated as temporal clauses: ‘Computers only work if = when(ever) they get electricity’. Clauses that do not express a causal relationship are phrased with ‘or’: ‘If Umberto Eco didn’t write Foucault’s Pendulum, someone else did = Umberto Eco wrote Foucault’s Pendulum, or someone else did’.

Conditional constructions that have a reduced degree of reality as a whole don’t need weak linking: ‘Maybe it works if you plug it in = by plugging it in-ins’.

Clauses dependent on topicalised verbs

A dependent clause of a topicalised main predicate is subject to the considerations on objects of topicalised verbs. Temporal clauses in combination with topicalised main predicates (especially causal and temporal) make typical examples. Sometimes we can avoid a pseudo-desorption.

  askUlà writeàly.I answer that he is writing.
do-fact1 ask-fin-fact2 write-aff-acc2.
là zdilsà cmàbviR dnùen.The consequence of sitting down is an action; this action stopped when his legs hurt.He sat there until his legs hurt.
do-fact1 seat-cons-fact2 hurt-fact-egr2 walk-ins-partnom3.
zdìls closeàaR museumÌi.The time of sitting down is the closing of the museum.He had been sitting there since the museum closed.
seat-cons1 close-fact-temp2 museum-acc-dat3.

Compare the last example to ‘He had been looking at the pendulum since the museum closed’ above: ‘look’ is not a stative verb.

Predicative and circumstancial, translated as conjunctional clauses

Conjunctional clauses also provide an alternative way to translate the predicative. With causal or temporal cases, they are able to convey more specialised meanings. Circumstancial clauses, translated similarly to predicatives, typically convey persuasive or temporal meaning.

  Predicative:
paintà bridgegreenànil.She paints the bridge so that [it] becomes green.She paints the bridge green.
paint-fact1 bridge-acc-dat2 green-partfact-cons2.
  Circumstancial:
speaká maleconvinceìlOl teachilý childelephantÌy.The man, because [he] was convinced of [his] knowledge, spoke to the child about elephants.Convinced of his knowledge, the man spoke to the child about elephants.
speak-fact1 male-acc-nom2a convince-cons-psu2 teach-cons-acc3 child-acc-dat2 elephant-acc-acc2.
forgetà malespeakàaR childelephantselláy veì artichokeÌy.The man, while/when he was speaking to the child about elephants, forgot to buy the artichokes.Speaking to the child about elephants, the man forgot to buy the artichokes.
forget-fact1 male-acc-nom2 speak-fact-temp2 child-acc-dat3 elephant-acc-acc3 sell-fact-acc2 PIn−2-nom-dat3a artichoke-acc-acc3.

Exercises

  Translate:
certainil1/2ìl readaopportunityày writeýy iakopÌke, searchÙlnel passwordÌi.Solve
I am sure it is good if Jacopo speaks.Solve
It cost me more (= I paid more) than I’d hoped.Solve
Being rather tetchy, the tortoise is angry although I fed it.
(two possibilities)
Solve
I’ve seen a beaver, as (= which is a fact that) I told you.
(Include all the pronouns.)
Solve
I stopped reading as I heard a noise.
(two possibilities)
Solve
Jacopo recommends her to eat it because of the vitamins [instead of the taste].Solve
Maybe the baby’ll eat if you sing to it.Solve
  Why doesn’t the translation of the above sentence mean ‘Maybe the baby eats because of the singing’? How is this sentence translated?Solve

Last significant change: 20 Apr 2017

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