Irrealis Modality

Irrealis modality is the set of grammatical modalities that indicate that a certain situation or action is not actually the case as the speaker is talking.
These modalities may be:
- epistemic (presumptive, assumptive),
- deontic (wish, intention),
- performative (imperative, optative),
- suppositive (conditional mood, counterfactual or potential, see below).

Realis modality is the set of modalities which indicate that something is actually the case.
These modalities may be:
- epistemic (declarative),
- deontic (necessity, possibility).

The opposition between realis and irrealis is not clear-cut, and forms instead a continuum. Thus, counterfactual is always marked as irrealis and on the other hand declarative is always marked as realis, but cross-linguistically other moods may or may not be marked as realis or irrealis.
The conditional mood is typical of this realis / irrealis opposition.

A conditional relation is a logical relation between two propositions, one of which (the result) expressing a hypothetical state of affairs, or an uncertain event to be true if the other proposition (the condition), expressing some circumstances, is true.
Conditional relations can be divided into two broad classes, factual (predictive) and counterfactual (hypothetical).
In factual conditional, the condition clause expresses a condition whose truth is unspecified or unverified, while in counterfactual conditional, the condition clause expresses a condition that is known to be false, or at least very unlikely.

In Uzbek, the condition clause bears the conditional suffix -SA. The fact that the conditional suffix is also used in a lot of other constructions referring to irrealis modalities, exemplifies the typicality of the conditional mood relatively to this realis / irrealis opposition.
The map below takes this into account and is organized vertically on one axis dividing realis and irrealis, and horizontally around the conditional constructions.
The conditional constructions are in the middle part, with the forms associated to the condition clause on the left, and with the result clause on the right.
The constructions making use of the conditional suffix -SA are displayed on the left side, close to the constructions for the condition clause, and the other constructions, especially those with a future value, are displayed on the right side, along the constructions for the result clause.

To see the meanings of these terms, you can also hover the mouse over the terms written in italic blue.
Click in the areas to get explanations of usages of all constructions inside and examples of them.
Click on the Uzbek form of the construction to get information on its morphology (only for -SA, -SA EDI, GANIDA EDI).
In the constructions referred to on the map, the verb on which the modality is applied appears on the left side of the hyphen.


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