One of the quotes was, "Roger Ebert said 'If I were still alive, I would wish I were dead.'.".
The whole "If" sentence is a conditional. It has two component clauses; its protasis (aka hypothesis) "... I were still alive ..." and its apodosis (aka conclusion) " ... I would wish I were dead.".sentence 1 wrote:If I were still alive, I would wish I were dead.
Some languages have a special modality(-or-mode-or-mood) for use in such a clause.
If I am not mistaken (am I?), for some such languages there is a protatic conditional mood; for some, there is an apodotic conditional mood; for some, there's one conditional mood that applies both to the protasis and the apodosis; and for some there is a mood for the apodoses and a different mood for the protases. (Did I pluralize those right?)
I have also read that some languages have one apodotic mood for use when the protasis is realis, and a different apodotic mood for use when the protasis is irrealis.
In the case of sentence 1, its protasis "... I were still alive ..." is not merely irrealis (not known to be nor to have been a matter of fact), but also actually counter-factual (known to be currently contrary to fact).
The apodosis " ... I would wish I were dead." is a complex sentence, too.
The clause "... I were dead." is a complement of the (subjunctive? irrealis?) verb-complex "... would wish ...".
Is (or are) there any natural language(s) that have an irrealis-within-irrealis mood/mode/modality marking for such clauses?
According to Bernard Comrie's book "Tense",
Some have these first few even though they also have degrees-of-remoteness (remote past vs near past and/or remote future vs near future).
Others, that don't have degrees-of-remoteness, have tenses "going up to four deep"; for instance, the following eight "three-deep" tenses;
- past within past within past
- future within past within past
- past within future within past
- future within future within past
- past within past within future
- future within past within future
- past within future within future
- future within future within future
If not a natlang; maybe a conlang?