• Claudius P. Kihara
Keywords: factual conditionals, Kikuyu, conditional situative, predictive, hypothetical, counterfactual, realis, irrealis


This paper presents a morphosyntactic characterisation and a semantic classification of Gĩkũyũ conditional sentences. A morphosyntactic characterisation of Gĩkũyũ conditional constructions shows the following types of conditional sentences: a) a conditional situative, which is a type of conditional sentence without an overt conditional marker; b) conditional clauses that are lexically expressed by kɔrwɔ, ɔkɔrwɔ, angekɔrwɔ, and morphologically by -nge-. The different meanings and usages of these conditional markers contribute to the typology of semantic classification of Gĩkũyũ conditional clauses. Semantically, these can be classified under two categories: realis and irrealis conditionals. The realis category constitutes the conditional situatives and factual conditionals, while the irrealis category subsumes the other types of conditionals: a) the predictive conditionals realised by conditional situatives, ɔkɔrwɔ, -nge-and angekɔrwɔ, b) the hypothetical conditionals and the counterfactual conditionals marked by kɔrwɔ and -nge-. Exceptionally, the morphological conditional marker -nge- occurs in all other conditional types except conditional situatives.