evolving subjunctive

Prof. Peter Lucko Peter.Lucko at RZ.HU-BERLIN.DE
Mon Jun 10 07:28:05 UTC 2002

>  However, the contingent sentences ("if
> he doesn't stop, he's out") seems fairly common in sportscasterese.

This seems to be a phenomenon that surpasses language boundaries: I have often wondered why german sportscasters shun the hypothetical subjunctive (Konjunktiv in German) of the "missed chance" type. They invariably say "Die Mannschaft musste noch ein Tor schiessen, statt nur das Resultat zu sichern" instead of "haette noch ein Tor schiessen muessen". I have come to accept it as a marker of a specific functional style, particularly now that I learn it is the same in English.
Prof. Dr. Peter Lucko
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin, Germany

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