William Mann bill_mann at SIL.ORG
Tue Jan 28 02:53:51 UTC 2003

Responding to Debra Ziegeler's second case below:

The use of either "when" or "if" in English can represent  "in a condition
in which" , and both words are actually common for this function.  Various
phrases have the same logical function.

A particularly accessible case in on the Rhetorical Structure Theory
website, path below.  A clip from that complete text is:

<2>Tempting as it may be, <3>we shouldn't
embrace every popular issue that comes along. <4>When we do so,
<5>we use precious, limited resources <6>where other players with superior
resources are already doing an adequate job.

This is from a political advocacy letter to the editor of the magazine of a
political organization. (The analysis of the entire letter is given.)   Here
"when" seems to leave the logic the same but leave an impression that the
case is not very hypothetical.

For the analysis and the supporting definitions see
http://www.sil.org/linguistics/RST.  Follow the link for [published
analyses] and click on Common Cause Advocacy Letter.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Debra.Ziegeler" <MFATSDPZ at FS1.ART.MAN.AC.UK>
To: <FUNKNET at listserv.rice.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2003 2:47 PM
Subject: whenever

> Interesting that this feature can be now observed in US English -
> Trudgill and Hannah (1985-2002 - International English) note that it
> is a feature of Northern Irish English, and give the example:
> 'Whenever my baby was born, I became depressed' (1985: 89).
> On a slightly different note, I have observed the use of 'when' in
> some examples of Hong Kong English and Singaporean English
> used with the function of a generic 'if' (e.g. 'When there is a fire, do
> not use the lift'). This seems to be the reverse of what Matt and
> Steve are describing.
> Debra Ziegeler
> Dr. Debra Ziegeler
> School of English and Linguistics
> Oxford Road
> Manchester M13 9PL
> UK
> Tel.: (0161) 275 3142
> Fax: (0161) 275 3256

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