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).

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

tìlp veì srálby iakopykè saxùfyn vèU.I assume that Jacopo is writing about his trumpet.
assume-cons1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 write-aff-acc2 Jacopo-acc-nom3a trumpet-ins-partacc3 PIn−2-nom-ben4.
xOàj veì àshy.I hear him reading.
hear-fact1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 read-fact-acc2.
xOìlj veì àlshy.I have heard (that) he is reading (= about his reading).
hear-cons1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 read-aff-acc2.
láxt zaraqyhtè qáxky ftnÌky zèU.Zarathustra wants his eagle to fly.
want-fact1 Zarathustra-acc-nom2a fly-fact-acc2 eagle-acc-acc3a PIn−3-nom-ben4.
láxt zaraqyhtè qálxky ftnÌky zèU.Zarathustra wants that his eagle flies.
want-fact1 Zarathustra-acc-nom2a fly-aff-acc2 eagle-acc-acc3a PIn−3-nom-ben4.

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).

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.

Topicalisation of ‘that’-clauses

As with infinitives and gerunds, the consecutive case can be topicalised to express perfects and stative verbs.

dnìls veì pìlty.I am certain that this has been made correct.
(Compare this example.)
I am certain that this is right.
certain-cons1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 correct-cons-acc2.
fràx mìlOl lorenzyÌ ilfcrÌnyr.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.

The difference between cleft sentences is much more pronounced when they appear in ‘that’-clauses.

gìljd sklèy bÌe.It is good that it’s her who is building the bridges.
It is good that she builds the bridges.
good-cons1 bridge-nom-acc2 female-acc-nom3.
gìljd sklÌy bÌe.It is good that it’s the bridges she builds.
It is good that she builds the bridges.
good-cons1 bridge-acc-acc2 female-acc-nom3.

Topicalising a plot case to mark a receptive verb is usually as problematic as with gerunds.

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?).

dmàt veì srálby iakopykè saxùfyn vèU.I see that Jacopo is writing about his trumpet.
see-fact1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 write-aff-acc2 Jacopo-acc-nom3a trumpet-ins-partacc3 PIn−2-nom-ben4.
dmàt veì iakopykè sràlby saxùfyn vèU.
see-fact1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 Jacopo-acc-nom2 write-aff-acc2 trumpet-ins-partacc3 PIn−2-nom-ben4.

‘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:
tìlp veì srálby iakopykè saxùfyn vèU.my assumption that Jacopo is writing about his trumpet
assume-cons1 PIn−2-nom-dat2 write-aff-acc2 Jacopo-acc-nom3a trumpet-ins-partacc3 PIn−2-nom-ben4.

Some ‘that’-clauses (let’s call them judgemental) claim reality. Yes, this means inversion.

gìljd wálxy zìe.
good-cons1 speak-aff-acc2 PIn−3-dat-nom3a.
wáx viè gÌjdal.The fact of your speaking is good.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.

waRxprilká viè <maRstpráy veÌ frÌsi 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.
waRxprilká viè maRstpráy veÌ frÌsi 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.

waRxprilkà maRstpráy ziÌ frÌsi 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”’.

Another technicality occurs if the predicate of the quoted sentence is a negated compound: it then turns into a modified object expressing something like ‘You said that you would do something that was not visiting your uncle’. This is formally the same situation as with neg-raising and perfectly intelligible; if undesirable, the predicate has to be uncompounded.

If several consecutive sentences are part of a citation, it is often enough to include the inquit (speakà.) in the first sentence; the remaining sentences will still be consistent with Rule Seven (because they are more hypothetical than reality). If necessary, they can be connected with ‘and’ (inner partitives), or the inquit can be repeated with the pronoun fà., or they can simply be enclosed in quotes.

Playing 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.

wáx veè avÌ crURÌjgOl2.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.
wáx veè àvy crURÌjgOl3.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 crURyjgÒl wÌxa 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 the accusative object of the previous sentence via a pseudo-desorption.

wáx veè àvy. là fyà crURÌjgOl.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.

wáx veè avÌ àul crURÌjgOl.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.
wáx viè màsty frysí ìnyl mèvi.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-nom-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 crURyjgwÌxOl.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 wánxyl zeè vày crURÌjgOl.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 orangutans]’ 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.

zdàs dmatmàqkar keltÌje.He sat down where he could see the pendulum.
seat-fact1 see-fact-opportunity-fact-loc2 pendulum-acc-nom3.
à dmatlàxtOl.He sat down there because he wanted to see it.
PIIn-fact1 see-fact-want-fact-psu2.
dmàt keltyjè niltnàeR pridnÌy.(… since the opening of the museum has been undone.)He had been looking at the pendulum since the museum closed.
see-fact1 pendulum-acc-nom2 open-cons-not-fact-ing2 museum-acc-acc3.
dmàt keltyjè prilkÌaR RÌRjge.He saw the pendulum before he died.
see-fact1 pendulum-acc-nom2 front-cons-opposition-acc-temp2 live-dur-nom3.
qàzg jnyÌ zdìlsaR/oR tÌar.He thought about everything while he was sitting there.
think-fact1 1/1-acc-acc2 seat-cons-temp/eps2 this-acc-loc3.
là frOlxà gmilkÌaR zdìlse.Something astonishing happened while he was sitting there.
do-fact1 astonish-psu-fact2 outside-cons-opposition-acc-temp2 seat-cons-nom3.
hrá oRwxyfè 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.

Conjunctional clauses in negated sentences sometimes characterise the negator and not the ‘main’ verb; this is often the case with causal clauses.

nà zdasÌ pilflìlxtOl2.Wanting to stand is the reason for not sitting down.He didn’t sit down because he wanted to stand.
not-fact1 seat-fact-acc2 stand-cons-want-cons-psu2.

See the first paragraph about modified objects for ‘She doesn’t eat it, because of the vitamins’, an analogous situation with a causal object.

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

zdìls dmatnàUl 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..

qazggwàt gwàar dmàtan keltÌje.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’.

tÌp cOycì fìltyn nenáy Ìhwy.There is what people assume of the speed of the horse’s running.The horse runs as fast as people assume.
assume-acc1 human-acc-dat2 fast-cons-partacc2 run-fact-acc3 horse-acc-acc4a.
filttìlcd nenáy yhwý tÌpym cOÌci.(or inversions, e.g. making nenà. the main predicate)The horse runs faster than people assume.
fast-cons-more-cons1 run-fact-acc2 horse-acc-acc3a assume-acc-qualacc2 human-acc-dat3.
dáxt kapulytè rÌwy myjdÌn nagwrýhy cèni.… an amount of wine liked to be drunk by us.Capulet ordered as much wine as we liked to drink.
must-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’.

frÒlx mìlOln lorenzyÌ ilfcrÌnyr.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. The inner partitives denote that the named causes are not the only ones.

dnilsbvìl ashmàqky srýby iakopÌke, àul xÙlnskel wrytplÌki.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.
dnilsbvìl kreRgwÌ àul xUlsknànel wrytplÌky.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.
ashmàqky srýby iakopÌke, àul xÙlnskel wrytplÌki.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 xÙlnskyn wrytplykí ashmaqknànyn srýby 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 ashmàqky srýby iakopÌke, àul xÙlnskel wrytplÌki.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 ashmàqky srýby iakopÌke, àul wrytplÌnku.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 wrytplykí làul vyà ashmànqkil srÌby 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.

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

wáx viè gÌjdal.It is good that you speak.
speak-fact1 PIn−2-dat-nom2a good-acc-aff2.
gìljd wálxy 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.

là pUlà sràlby.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 niltnàaR pridnÌy.The time of sitting down is the closing of the museum.He had been sitting there since the museum closed.
seat-cons1 open-cons-not-fact-temp2 museum-acc-acc3.

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

Circumstantial clauses

Circumstantial clauses are participial clauses at the beginning (or end) of a sentence that typically convey causal or temporal meaning. Don’t translate them as participles but as conjunctional clauses, because otherwise the type of relation to the main clause would get lost.

A causal circumstantial clause in a negated sentence is an object of the negator, as described above.

wáx yxè dnìlsOl gwiltý elefyÌ cnÌi.The man, because [he] was certain 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 certain-cons-psu2 teach-cons-acc3 elephant-acc-acc2 child-acc-dat2.
smajnà yxì wàxoR elefyÌ cnyí djáy viì qkrÌdjy.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.
remember-fact-not-fact1 male-acc-dat2 speak-fact-eps2 elephant-acc-acc3 child-acc-dat3 sell-fact-acc2 PIn−2-dat-dat3a artichoke-acc-acc3.
nà smàjy yxì djáy viì qkrÌdjy, wàxel elefyÌ cnÌi.The man, because 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.
not-fact1 remember-fact-acc2 male-acc-dat3 sell-fact-acc3 PIn−2-dat-dat4a artichoke-acc-acc4 speak-fact-caus2 elephant-acc-acc3 child-acc-dat3.

Exercises

Translate:
dnilsbvìl ashmàqky srýby iakopÌke, xÙlnskel wrytplÌki.Solve
certain-cons-1/2-cons1 read-fact-opportunity-fact-acc2 write-acc-acc3 Jacopo-acc-nom4a search-partfin-caus2 password-acc-dat3.
I am sure it is good that Jacopo speaks.Solve
It cost me more (= I paid more) than I’d hoped.Solve
Being rather tetchy, the tortoise is shouting at me 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