Fw: Re: Conditional sentences

Bruce Terry (terry@bible.ACU.edu)
Wed, 08 May 1996 14:30:59 CST

The following message from Carlton Winbery was obviously meant for the list,
not just for me, so I am forwarding it to the list.

Bruce Terry E-MAIL: terry@bible.acu.edu
Box 8426, ACU Station Phone: 915/674-3759
Abilene, Texas 79699 Fax: 915/674-3769

--------------------------------Forwarded Message---------------------------

From: MX%"winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net"
To: MX%"terry@bible.acu.edu"
Subj: Re: Conditional sentences

Return-Path: <winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net>
Date: Tue, 7 May 1996 15:39:44 -0500
To: Bruce Terry <terry@bible.acu.edu>
From: winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net (Carlton L. Winbery)
Subject: Re: Conditional sentences

Bruce Terry wrote;
>I think the confusion here is due to the fact that there are competing systems
>of description of conditional sentences. One of the areas of disagreement is
>about whether the first class conditional sentence implies reality like the
>second class implies unreality (irrealis). From my own study in 1 Corinthians
>I have come to the conclusion that it is helpful to adopt the Prague school
>concept of markedness and say that the first class conditional sentence is
>semantically unmarked. Since the other classes are marked (2nd=unreality;
>3rd=hypothetical; 4th=potential [?]) for something other than reality, the
>Greek speaker who wished to express reality had to use the first class
>conditional sentence; but since the first class is unmarked, it does not in
>itself imply reality. Occasionally the first class implies unreality or a
>hypothetical condition as well.
I would generally agree with Bruce concerning what we have become
accustomed to calling a first class condition. There are times when it
shows unreality in the mind of the speaker, eg. Luke 4:3 "If you are the
Son of God . . . " Mt. 27:33. But it might be argued that the unreality
is true in the speaker's thinking hence the construction. An eg. of a
hypothetical situation might be Mt. 26:33 "If all take offense at you . .
." Does he use this structure because it is extremely unlikely to become

Carlton Winbery
Fogleman Prof. Religion
Louisiana College