The counterfactive mood in Forest Enets and its origin
The description of the counterfactive mood (Siegl 2013: 298) reported that this mood has fallen out of use in the speech of the last generation of fully fluent speakers. Although it is remembered and some examples from elicitation are attested, it could no longer be found in transcribed narratives representing the language of the last fully fluent speakers recorded between 2006 and 2011. By contrast, the counterfactive mood is very frequent in narratives from the parental generation on which this study is based. Apart from a functional description and an analysis, the article discusses the history of this mood. The article ends with a collection of thoughts concerning the history of the Proto-Samoyedic tense system, as this mood is historically closely connected to the Proto-Samoyedic aorist marker *-ŋå.